Friday, February 20, 2009

Madness, madness . . . touché

Today is the birthday of Pierre Boulle (February 20, 1912 – January 30, 1994), French novelist and engineer. 

Most people remember Pierre Boulle by his two most famous works, The Bridge over the River Kwai (1952) and Planet of the Apes (La planèt des singes) (1963); however, some may remember him as Peter John Rule. 

During World War II, he served as a secret agent under the name Peter John Rule, and in doing so, he helped the resistance movement in China, Burma, and French Indochina. He was captured by the Vichy France loyalists (1943) on the Mekong River and imprisoned. While a prisoner he was subjected to severe hardship and forced labour. 

His writings dealt with themes of false ideals, human destructiveness and the madness of war.  Pierre Boulle wrote of his personal experiences in the war in  My Own River Kwai.  He claimed his chief relaxation was fencing.  

Pierre Boulle was later made a chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur and decorated with the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille de la Résistance. 

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