Dabit, Eugene

Dabit, Eugene


Born Sept. 21, 1898, in Paris; died Aug. 21, 1936, in Sevastopol’. French writer.

In his youth Dabit was a metalworker. He served at the front from 1916 to 1919, when he was demobilized. Dabit wrote poems (“I Was a Soldier at Age Twenty,” 1924, published 1938) and reflected on the fate of ordinary people (the novella Hotel North, 1929) and of his own wartime generation (the novel The Boy Louis, 1930). In the novel Villa Oasis (1932) he dealt with the deadly essence of middle-class “happiness.” In 1932 he became a member of the Association of Revolutionary Writers and Artists of France.

Dabit found joy and the meaning of life in the world of ordinary people (the essays Pan’s Suburbs, 1933) and in unity and single-handed struggle with nature (the collection of stories The Island, 1934). Such values had been lost by the bourgeoisie with its everyday egotism (the novel The Late Lamented, 1934). The theme of the novel Green Zone (1935; Russian translation, 1937) is that capitalism is inimical to the spirit of the worker. Capitalism is impelled toward war, which is repulsive to the people, who long for a better life (the collection of short stories The Course of Life, 1936; Russian translation, 1939). Dabit took part in the International Congress of Writers in Defense of Culture in 1935. In July 1936 he traveled to the Soviet Union, where he fell ill and died. Dabit’s Intimate Diary, published posthumously in 1939, is evidence of the strengthening of his sympathies for communism.


“Maxime Gorki, la mere.” Europe, Mar. 15, 1935 (no. 147).
Les Maitres de la peinture espagnole. Paris, 1937.
Le Mai de vivre. Paris, 1939.
Hôtel du Nord suivi de Au Pont Tournant. Paris, 1946.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1963.
Olesha, Iu. “E. Dabi.” In Izbrannye sochineniia. Moscow, 1956.
Iakhontova, M. A. “Khudozhestvennye zavoevaniia frantsuzskoi literatury 30–kh godov.” In Zarubezhnaia literatura, 30–e gody XX veka. Moscow, 1969.
Hommage a Eugene Dabit. Paris, 1939.
Bergeron, R. “Sur Eugene Dabit.” Europe, March 1951, no. 63.