Jean Giraudoux


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Giraudoux, Jean

 

Born Oct. 29, 1882, in Bellac; died Jan. 31, 1944, in Paris. French writer. Fought in World War I(1914–18); later entered the foreign service; left government service in protest after H. P. Petain came to power (1940).

Giraudoux began to publish in 1904. His first stories, the collections The Provincials (1909) and The School for Indifference (1911; Russian translation, 1927), criticized the mores of the provincial bourgeoisie and revealed Giraudoux’s predilection for subtle irony, sarcasm, and paradox, which, however, were sometimes used for superficial effects. His books about war, notably Readings for a Shadow (1917) and Adorable Clio (1920), are ironic and stand in contrast to the chauvinistic literature of the period. In these books the dominant theme of Giraudoux’s work is first introduced, namely, pacifism and the defense of culture, the bearers of which, according to Qiraudoux, are lone intellectuals. These are the protagonists of the novels Passionate Simon (1918–26) and Suzanne and the Pacific Ocean (1921). Giraudoux’s best novels—Siegfried and Limousin (1922; Russian translation, 1927) and Bella (1926, Russian translation, 1927)—criticize nationalism and political manipulation behind the scenes. His plays Siegfried (1928), Amphitryon 38 (1929), Intermezzo (1933), Tiger at the Gates (1935), Electra (1937), and The Madwoman ofChaillot (published, 1946) depict in allegorical form important political events and mirror the writer’s anxiety over the threat of war.

WORKS

Théâtre complet, vols. 1–16. Paris, 1945–53.
Or dans la nuit. Paris, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Siuzanna ostrovitianka. Leningrad [1928].
“Troianskoi voiny ne budet.” In P’esy Sovremennoi Frantsii. Moscow, 1960.

REFERENCES

Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol.4. Moscow, 1963.
Juve, L. Mysli o teatre. Moscow, 1960.
Gozenpud, A. Puti i pereput’ia. Leningrad, 1967.
Toussaint, F. J. Giraudoux. Paris, 1953.
Le Sage, L. L’oeuvre de J. Giraudoux. Paris, 1956.
Albérès, R. M. Esthetique et morale chez J. Giraudoux. Paris, 1957.

A. D. MIKHAILOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Tambien se niega a tratar Phedre como mera pieza de museo y habla de su caracter de tragedia moderna, "que luego, con suaves ironias, con poesia, filosofia y arquitectura de hoy, habria de continuar el mas interesante de los comediografos modernos, Jean Giraudoux." Por su parte, la puesta en escena ni siquiera fue valorada, aparte de una rapida mencion al "delicioso vestuario" de On he badine pas avec l'amour (ABC).
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Synopsis: Recently revised with a new book by David Thompson, this musicalization of Jean Giraudoux's The Madwoman of Chaillot now features three new Jerry Herman songs and stars Maureen McGovern in the role that won Angela Lansbury a Tony Award in 1969.
A "standardized worker with interchangeable parts....That would solve the entire problem of management," says a character in Jean Giraudoux's surreal play, The Madwoman of Chaillot.
Jean Giraudoux was a boulevard intellectual of the 1930s and '40s in Paris, whose plays were once admired but are now out of fashion.
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Theatrical talents such as Jean Giraudoux and Jean Anouilh, and poet Jean Cocteau, turned their efforts to the cinema as well, often with notable success.
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Parisian persistence: An eccentric French countess battles corrupt businessmen who plot to dig up the streets of Paris so they can access oil they believe lies beneath them in "The Madwoman of Chaillot," a 1945 satire by Jean Giraudoux that still resonates today.
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