Maurice Blanchard (1890 – 1960)
Reference: MBE048_L_11f 240
Blanchard, an aeronautic engineer and surrealist poet, was born in Montdidier in 1890. His father abandoned Blanchard and his mother when he was very young, an event that would mark him for the rest of his life. He was an excellent student, but left school to become a locksmith’s apprentice and worked in the prison industry in Paris. He read Nietzsche at a young age, which strongly influenced his life; he joined the Navy, and through 1917 he was overcome with desire to learn and explore his curiosity. He was one of the few pilots to survive the battle at Dunkirk during WWI. Through persistent hard work, Blanchard excelled in physics and mathematics, and found a passion for philosophy.
He learned ancient Greek, Latin, English, so that he could read and translate Shakespeare, and Italian, so he could read Dante. After he was discharged from the Navy, Blanchard was hired as an aeronautical engineer, married, and had two sons.
He joined a resistance network during WWII known as Brutus, and worked as an engineer until 1955.