André Maurois

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Maurois, André

 

(pseudonym of Émile Herzog). Born July 26, 1885, in Elbeuf; died Oct. 9, 1967, in Paris. French writer. Member of the Académie Française (1938).

Maurois served in World Wars I and II. He was the author of short stories, literary criticism, history, and memoirs. He wrote the psychological novels Bernard Quesnay (1926; Russian translation, 1926), Atmosphere of Love (1928; Russian translations, 1930 and 1966), and The Family Circle (1932; Russian translation, 1966). He gained world renown for his biographies Ariel, the Life of Shelley (1923; Russian translation, 1925); The Life of Disraeli (1927; Russian translation, 1934); Byron (1930; Russian translation, 1936); Turgenev (1931); Lélia (1952; Russian translation, 1967), about G. Sand; Olympio (1954; Russian translation, 1971), about V. Hugo; The Titans (1957; Russian translation, 1962), about the Dumas family; The Life of Sir Alexander Fleming (1959; Russian translation, 1961); and Prometheus (1965, Russian translation, 1967), about H. de Balzac.

Based on precise historical documentation, Maurois’s biographies are vivid portraits of great men. Maurois usually focused his attention on the inner world of his heroes, as well as on the circumstances of their personal lives. Maurois’s later books reveal an increased interest in public affairs, the social ethos of an age, and national literary traditions (the biographies of Sand, Hugo, Balzac). As a writer, Maurois was inspired by French and world literature. He was fond of the Russian classics and wrote about I. S. Turgenev, L. N. Tolstoy, and A. P. Chekhov. His realistic writing is imbued with faith in the human personality and runs counter to the modernist tendencies in French literature.

WORKS

Oeuvres complétes, vols. 1–16. Paris, 1950–56.
Mémoires. [Paris, 1970.]
Une Carrière et autres nouvelles. Moscow, 1965.
In Russian translation:
“Tragediia Frantsii.” A. Simon [et al.], O tekh, kto predal Frantsiiu. Moscow, 1941.
Fialki po sredam. Moscow, 1963.
Literaturnye portrety. Moscow, 1970.
“Iz ’Pisem k Neznakomke’” Introduction by E. Evnina. Inostrannaia literatura, 1974, no. 1.

REFERENCES

Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1963.
Leviant, M. la. “Teoriia biograficheskogo romana André Morua.” Uch. zap. Mosk. gos. pedagogich. in-ta im. V, I. Lenina, vol. 458. Moscow, 1971.
Narkir’er, F. S. André Morua. Moscow, 1974. (In press.)
Michel-Droit. André Maurois, 2nd ed. Paris, 1958.
Suffel, J. André Maurois. With commentary by André Maurois. [Paris, 1963.]
Biblio, 1965, no. 6. (Special issue on Maurois.)
Keating, L. C. André Maurois. New York [1969].

F. S. NARKIR’ER