The novelist who barely disguises the characters he has pulled from reality: here, again, it seems as though we catch a glimpse of another Poche.
Now I wonder if Grippes wasn’t forced to camouflage him, after the moment in which Poche queried Grippes about when “What’s-His-Name struggles to prepare his civil-service tests”.
Grippes played innocent: “He had no idea what that could be from, and he was certain he had not written it.” He is pleased that Poche has studied his work. (And regretful when, afterwards, his fiscal relationship with office-Poche ends.)
But it was Poche, all-over-Poche-ness.
Poche knew it. We knew it. Grippes only pretended not to know.
So, afterwards, Grippes made Poche “a tubercular poet, trapped in Paris by poverty and the Occupation”.
Poche-on-the-page is perhaps less immediately recognizable.
But not much of a stretch for Grippes, a writer, to step into the mind of a poet.
Although he had some more adventurous ideas for Poche too. We learn that he threw out a first draft, “in which Poche joined a Christian-minded Resistance network and performed a few simple miracles”.