François Mauriac

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mauriac, François


Born Oct. 11, 1885, in Bordeaux; died Sept. 1, 1970, in Paris. French writer. Member of the Académie Française (1933). Father of C. Mauriac.

Mauriac was the son of a merchant. He graduated from the department of literature at the University of Bordeaux. Mauriac began his literary career as a poet (1909). His first novel, Young Man in Chains, about a young provincial in Paris, appeared in 1913. He gained recognition for his novels A Kiss for the Leper (1922), Genetrix (1923), Thérèse (1927; Russian translation, 1927), Vipers’ Tangle (1932; Russian translation, 1934), and The Unknown Sea (1939; Russian translation, 1957). In 1943, Mauriac, a member of the Resistance, published under the pseudonym Forez a collection of antifascist articles, Le Cahier noir.

After the war, Mauriac was a supporter of C. De Gaulle’s regime; at the same time, however, he denounced the French colonial wars. Of his postwar novels the most famous are Le Sagouin (1951; Russian translation, The Monkey, 1955), The Lamb (1954), and Maltaverne (1969; Russian translation, 1970). His Bloc-notes (1952–70), notes on political, moral, and aesthetic subjects, was published in the newspapers L’Express and Le Figaro. In his writings, Mauriac strongly criticized capitalist society from the point of view of Catholic morality. His works depict the everyday life of the bourgeoisie and nobility and the moral strivings of youth torn between religious impulses and the demands of the flesh. Mauriac’s works, which were influenced by Dostoevsky and Proust, combine psychological analysis and naturalistic detail in the description of the vices of his characters.

Mauriac’s aesthetic views were expressed in The Novel (1928), The Novelist and His Characters (1933, 1970), and Mémoires intérieurs (1959); in these works he defended realism from a Christian point of view and condemned modernism in literature. In 1952 he was awarded the Nobel Prize.


Oeuvres complètes, vols. 1–12. Paris, 1950–56.
Ce que je crois. Paris, 1962.
Nouveaux Mémoires intérieurs. Paris, 1965.
Thérèse Desqueyroux. Le Noeud de vipères. Les Chemins de la mer. Introduction by R. Grachev. Afterword and notes by E. Etkind. Moscow [1966].
Bloc-notes: 1961–1964. Paris [1968].
In Russian translation:
Tereza Deskeiru. Fariseika. Martyshka. Podrostok bylykh vremen. Introduction by L. Andreev. Moscow, 1971.


Shkunaeva, I. D. Sovremennaia frantsuzskaia literatura. Moscow, 1961.
Vaksmakher, M. N. Frantsuzskaia literatura nashikh dnei. Moscow, 1967.
Maurois, A. Literaturnye portrety. Moscow, 1970.
Kirnoze, Z. I. Fransua Moriak. Moscow, 1970.
Wurmser, A. “F. Mauriac et nous.” L’Humanité, Sept. 2, 1970.
Goesch, K. F. Mauriac: Essai de bibliographic chronologique. Paris, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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