MOURRE, Michele. Malgré le blasphème. Paris: Julliard, Jan. 1951. 254 p.; 14.5 x 19.5 cm.; white cover in contemporary orange binding.

In this autobiography, 22-year old Michele Mourre describes his eventful youth, from the death of his mother to his conversion to Catholicism and decision to join (then leave) the Dominican order to the famed “Scandal of Notre-Dame”. On Easter Sunday, 1950, Mourre entered the famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris during High Mass, dressed as a Dominican monk. In the middle of the ceremony, he got up, stood in front of the altar, and declaimed before the congregation:

Today, Easter day of the Holy Year,
Here, under the emblem of Notre-Dame of Paris,
I accuse the universal Catholic Church of the lethal diversion of our living strength toward an empty heaven,
I accuse the Catholic Church of swindling,
I accuse the Catholic Church of infecting the world with its funereal morality,
Of being the running sore on the decomposed body of the West.
Verily I say unto you: God is dead,
… Today Easter day of the Holy Year,
Here under the emblem of Notre-Dame of Paris,
We proclaim the death of the Christ-god, so that Man may live at last.

Mourre would later recant (thus the title of this book – In spite of blasphemy) and once again become a practicing Catholic. Our copy is exceptionally dedicated by Mourre to Michel de St-Pierre, a conservative catholic writer and the author of 1954 semi-autobiographical best-seller “The Aristocrats”