In 1914, Werth was 36 years old. He was a libertarian, anti-militarist and firm supporter of Jean Jaurès, and he believed in internationalism.
However, like many of his comrades, he left voluntarily for the front to defend his ideal of a free man who would wage "war on war" - this war, the latest one.
He would remain there for 15 months.
But as autobiographical as it is, Clavel the Soldier (drafted between 1916 and 1917) is above all a magnificent novel. The scenes the author describes are surprisingly evocative of the works of the great painters he spoke so well of.