Jacob, Max(mäks zhäkôb`), 1876–1944, French writer and painter, b. Brittany. His dream-inspired verse, plays, novels, and paintings bridged and gave impetus to the symbolist and surrealist schools. His conversion (1914) from Judaism to Roman Catholicism had great impact on his work. Among Jacob's novels are Saint Matorel (1911) and Filibuth; ou La Montre en or (1922); his verse, usually light and ironic, includes Fond de l'eau (1927) and Rivages (1932). Prose and poetry are combined in his Défense de Tartufe (1919) and the play Le Siège de Jérusalem: drame céleste (1912–14). His critical study, Art poétique (1922), had wide influence. One-man shows of Jacob's paintings were held in New York in 1930 and 1938. He died in a Nazi concentration camp.
See study of his paintings by G. Kamber (1971); study of his religious poetry by J. Schneider (1978).
Born July 11, 1876, in Quimper, in the department of Finistere; died Mar. 5, 1944, in a concentration camp at Drancy. French author.
Jacob first appeared in print in 1903. Closely associated with G. Apollinaire, P. Picasso, and G. Braque, he came forward in the decade before World War I as one of the advocates of “cubist poetry” and of cubism in painting. Jacob’s works influenced the surrealists: his book Poetic Art (1922) proclaimed nonrationalism and the rejection of plot, and his poems displayed religious motifs and fantastically vague forms, or “myths”; the poems are built on alliterations and puns, at times crossing over into meaninglessness (including “Central Laboratory,” 1921, and “Penitents in Pink Tights,” 1925). Jacob’s novels (Filibuth, or The Golden Watch, 1922, and Bouchaballe’s Land, 1923), as well as his works that are unique for their combination of prose and verse (St. Matorel, 1909, and The Defense ofTartuffe, 1919), are marked by the interplay of fantasy and grotesquely depicted bourgeois reality. Jacob, a Jew, died in the concentration camp where he was imprisoned by German fascists (Letters to Salacrou, published in 1957).
WORKSDerniers poèmes en vers et en prose. Paris .
In Russian translation:
[Poetry], in la pishu tvoe imia, Svoboda. Moscow, 1968.
REFERENCESIstoriiafrantsuzskoiliteratury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Europe, 1958, April-May, nos. 348–49. (The issue is devoted to M. Jacob.)
O. I. IL’INSKAIA