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(pen name of Marie-Joseph Sue). Born Jan. 26 or Dec. 10, 1804, in Paris; died Aug. 3, 1857, in Annecy, in the department of Haute-Savoie. French writer.
From 1823 to 1829, Sue was a ship’s surgeon. His first works were sketches, vaudevilles, and such publicist pamphlets as Letters of a Man-Fly to the Prefect of Paris (1826). In 1830 he published his “satanic” short story “Kernock the Pirate.” Sue’s melodramatic serial novels (roman-feuilletons) were especially successful; they depicted improbable heroes, the underworld of Paris, and the hypocrisy of high society. Examples of this genre were The Mysteries of Paris (vols. 1–10, 1842–43) and The Wandering Jew (vols. 1–10, 1844–45). The value of Sue’s social criticism was diminished by his inadequate exposure of society’s injustices, his lack of faith in the people, and the hopes he placed in bourgeois philanthropy.
In 1850, Sue became a deputy to the Legislative Assembly. In January 1852 he emigrated to Savoie since the government was persecuting him for his novel The Mysteries of the People (1849–57) and his anticlerical publicist pamphlets. K. Marx called Sue “a sentimental middle-class social fantasizer” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 7, pp. 100–101).
WORKSOeuvres illustrées [vols. 1–23]. Paris, 1850–55.
In Russian translation:
Agasfer, vols. 1–4. [Moscow-Leningrad] 1933–36.
REFERENCESBelinskii, V. G. Poln. sobr. soch, vols. 8,10. Moscow, 1955–56.
Marx, K., and F. Engels. Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 2. Moscow, 1955.
Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1956.
Bory, J.-L. Eugène Sue. [Paris, 1973.]
M. A. GOLD’MAN