Blaise Cendrars

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Cendrars, Blaise


(pen name of Frédéric Sauser). Born Sept. 1, 1887, in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; died Jan. 21, 1961, in Paris. French and Swiss writer.

Cendrars attempted to create a socially oriented lyric epic. Examples are the narrative poems Easter in New York (1912) and The Prose of the Trans-Siberian Express and of Little Jeanne of France (1913); the latter work is based on the author’s visit to Russia. Although Cendrars paid tribute to cubism (Nineteen Elastic Poems, 1919) and other avant-gardist trends, he was also one of the founders, along with G. Apollinaire, of 20th-century poetic realism.

Cendrars created an epic of the modern adventurer in his grotesque novels Sutter’s Gold (1925; Russian translation, 1926), Moravagine (1926, devoted to the Russian Revolution of 1905–07), The Confessions of Dan Yack (1929), Rum (1930), and The Dangerous Life (1938). His later prose works, similar in tone to his poetry and lyrically autobiographical, includes The Man Struck by Thunder (1945), The Amputated Hand (1946), and Liberated (1948). Cendrars also published the collection of essays Today (1931).


Oeuvres complètes [vols. 1–6, 8–9, 13–15].[Paris] 1968–71.
Inédits secrets. [Paris] 1969.
In Russian translation:
Po vsemu miru. Moscow, 1974.


Rousselot, J. Blaise Cendrars. Paris [1955].
Parrot, L. Blaise Cendrars. [Paris, 1967.]
Chadourne, J. Blaise Cendrars: poète du Cosmos. [Paris, 1973.]


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