Born Apr. 23, 1918, in Paris. French writer. Member of the French Academy (1967).
Druon is the son of the actor L. Kessel, but he adopted the last name of his stepfather, R. Druon. He studied in the department of literature in Paris and was drawn to naturalism (the collection of short stories Cloud of Fire, 1938). Druon’s participation in the struggle against fascism (1940) inspired the heroic and patriotic tenor of his drama Megara (staged in 1942), the eye-witness chronicle The November 12th Train … (written in 1943), Partisan Songs (1943; written jointly with J. Kessel), the novella about the war The Last Detachment (1946), and the “chivalric” short stories of the cycle The Masters of the Plain (1962). Druon’s political credo was expressed in print in Letters of a European (1944), which asserts that either an elite will “save” Western Europe after the war by means of federation and technical progress or the masses will “ruin” it in a civil war. In his trilogy The Curtain Falls (vol. 1, 1948, Prix deGoncourt; Russian translation, 1960; vol. 2, 1950; vol. 3, 1951) the period between the two world wars was realistically recreated, showing the history of the moral and political degradation of the ruling caste, which led France to the Munich Pact of 1938 and the national catastrophe of 1940. Druon is the author of the aphoristic Notes (1952), the naturalistic novel The Sensuality of Being (1954), the series of historical novels with ingenious plots in the tradition of A. Dumas pere entitled Accursed Kings (vols. 1-6, 1955-60; 2nd, revised ed., 1967), the mythological, two-part work The Memoirs of Zeus (vol. 1, 1963; vol. 2, 1967), the book of maxims Power (1965), the cycle of short stories The Happiness of Some … (1967), and the pamphlet on the 1968 general strike in France The Future in Confusion (1968).
WORKSTistou les pouces verts. Paris, 1957.
Théâatre. Paris .
Discours prononcés dans la séance publique tenue par l’Académic française pour la réception de M. Maurice Druon, le jeudi 7 déc. 1967. [Paris, 1967.]
In Russian translation:
Sil’nye mira sego. Moscow, 1965. [With a forword by E. F. Trushchenko.]
Negozhe liliiam priast’ Frantsuzskaia volchitsa. Moscow, 1966. (In the series Prokliatye koroli.)
REFERENCESMaksimov, E. N. Tvorcheskii put’ M. Druona. Moscow, 1965. (Dissertation abstract.)
Biblio, 1960, no. 4. (Issue devoted to Druon.)
V. P. BALASHOV