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Henry Zisly, French anarchiste; source
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"A bas la Civilisation! Vive la Nature!"

Henri Zisly

French militant anarchist, writer, advocate of libertarian naturalism.
(Paris, November 2, 1872-1945 )

Biographical/historical notes:

Henri Zisly, was an advocate of naturalism. French anarchists were pioneers of naturism / nudity; Andre Lorulot, Eugène Humbert, E.Armand, Ch. Auguste Bontemps were other advocates).

Zisly was employed by the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer du Nord from 1897, but then dismissed in 1915 because of his anti-patriotic article in Bataille syndicaliste Paris.

He wrote articles for a large number of anarchist periodicals in France, other European countries & North & South America, especially for "Le Libertaire"; his editorships included "L'Humanité nouvelle" (1895-1898), "L'Etat naturel" (1894-1898) & La Vie naturelle Paris (1907-1920).

Emile Gravelle, another anarchist & naturalist, published the review "L'Etat Naturel" (1894-1898) &, in 1895, began collaborating with Henri Zisly & Henri Beylie on "La Nouvelle Humanité", which is followed by: "Le Naturien"(1898), "Le Sauvage"(1898-99), "L'Ordre Naturel"(1905), & "La Vie Naturelle" (1907-14) & (1920-27).

These reviews & newspapers are the expression of the libertarian "naturien" movement, which preaches the return to a natural & independent life. The movement "naturien" can rightly be seen the precursor of naturism, vegetarianism, & of the modern ecology movement.

Monmartre was home to the anarchist group, Les Naturiens, who attacked accepted notions of civilization and rejected modern technology. Their views have obvious contemporary resonance. The debate between Jean Grave, the anarchist communist, and the Naturien, Henri Zisly, on whether machines are inherently authoritarian could have been lifted from the Fifth Estate.

page created November 2006
This text combines materials from the following three sources, & we encourage you to visit their commendable pages:
Image & date source from Ephéméride Anarchiste
Book review by Robert Graham at

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