Jacques Benoist-Méchin pris par Sophie Bassouls.jpgJacques Michel Gabriel Paul Benoist-Méchin (1 July 1901 – 24 February 1983) was a French far right politician and writer. Jacques Benoist-Méchin was an aesthete, homosexual, Arabist, intimate of Marcel Proust and collaborator (as well as a fanatical Hitler-supporter nicknamed 'la Gestapette'). He avoided the firing squad and re-emerged into political life in the late 1950s as a discreet adviser on Arab affairs to the de Gaulle's government.

He was born and died in Paris. Well known as a journalist and historian, he later became prominent for his collaborationism under the Vichy regime. After his conviction in 1947 and release from prison in 1954, he became an Arab world expert in the second part of his life.

Benoist-Méchin was a patron of the famous Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company and during the Second World War used his connections to secure the release of the shop's American-born owner Sylvia Beach from a spell of internment.[13] He befriended James Joyce and made an early French translation of Molly Bloom's monologue from Ulysses, and also provided the musical transcription of "Little Harry Hughes" photographed for episode 17.[14] He also corresponded with Ernst Jünger during the German scholar's residence in occupied France.[15] He also developed a close friendship with Union Movement leader Oswald Mosley whilst the latter lived in France after the war.[16]


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