Raymond Radiguet was born near Paris in 1903. He dropped out of his lycée in order to pursue his interests in journalism and literature, and associated himself with the Modernist set, befriending Picasso, Max Jacob, Jean Hugo, Juan Gris and especially Jean Cocteau, who became his mentor. His first novel, Le Diable au corps (The Devil in the Flesh), was published in 1923 and became a runaway bestseller in France. Radiguet died of typhoid fever the same year, at the age of twenty. His second novel, Le bal du Comte d'Orgel (Count d'Orgel's Ball) was published posthumously in 1924.