The royalist author, Jean Raspail, author of the sulfurous “Le Camp des saints”, a novel that, with horror, depicted the arrival of one million migrants on the Côte d’Azur, died Saturday a few days before his 95th birthday, we learned from his publisher and his son.
Royalist author Jean Raspail died on Saturday, June 13. At the Henry-Dunant Hospital in Paris, the writer, a traditional Catholic, received the last sacraments on Friday. He died “peacefully surrounded by his family,” his son Quentin told AFP.
Jean Raspail had been in hospital since late December and due to the Covid-19 epidemic, his family had not been able to see him until the last few days. “This situation has affected many families and it is really awful,” said the author’s son.
The author who proclaimed himself “Consul General” of Patagonia admired by some, condemned by others, defended himself from being extremely right, and defined himself as “royalist”, “free man, never subordinate to a party”.
But he realized that he was “ultra-reactionary”, “tied to identity and to the country” and fiercely opposed “cross breeding”.
“The Saints Camp”, “cult novel” for some and “racist” for others
Author of several dozen books, winner of the Grand Prize for the novel from the French Academy (1981) for “Me, Antoine de Tounens, King of Patagonia” and the Inter Book Prize (1987) for “Who remember men …”, he will remain as author of the novel “Le Camp des saints”, a book that has been constantly re-published since its publication in 1973.
Hailed as a “cult novel” by the nationalist movement, described by others as “racist”, “the camp of the saints” represents the arrival, one night, on the coasts of southern France, by a hundred vessels in the final breath loaded with a million immigrants.
They are the tip of a third world seeking refuge in the West to find hope. Before that, what to do? It is this shock that the book tells, while the author wonders: “Is there a future for the West?”.
“It’s a surprising book. It took a long time to write, but it came by itself. I ended the evening, I resumed the next morning without knowing where I was going. There is an inspiration in this book that is foreign to me myself. I’m not saying it’s divine, but weird, “the author told Le Point 2015.
Acclaimed by Marine Le Pen, Bruno Retailleau and a monarchist movement
That year, in the midst of a migration crisis in Europe, the president of the RN, Marine Le Pen, had invited “French to read or read about Camp des Saints”. Marine Le Pen on Saturday called the author’s death “a huge loss for the national family.”
On the right, the commander of the LR senators, Bruno Retailleau, praised “the French dream poet adventurer and beyond the sea”. The French Action Monarchy movement also paid tribute to “a life in the service of France and the art, in the service of the monarchy”.
Born in July 1925, Jean Raspail first experienced a life as a backpacker before he devoted himself to writing.
In addition to “The Saints’ Camp,” he wrote several adventure novels and travel stories including “Tierra del Fuego-Alaska” (1952), “The King’s Game” (1976), or “Moonfisher” (1990). He had developed a passion for Patagonia, an imaginary kingdom in the southern countries of South America, of which he proclaimed himself “Consul General.”
In 94, 94, he had published two novels: “Les Pikkendorff” (Albin Michel) and “La Miséricorde” (Les Equateurs), a short novel inspired by the terrible crime of the Uruffe parish priest, in the 50s. Jean Raspail had left the ultimate novel unfinished and left it to the reader to decide whether the perpetrator of such a crime deserved salvation.