Jean Giraudoux

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.


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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
This is not very far from that which Bresson and Jean Giraudoux put in place with Les Anges du peche (1943).
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.
"Giraudoux, Jane Austen, et l'art de l'anti-pastiche." Cahiers Jean Giraudoux 27 (1999): 167-80.
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.
Clurman's achievements as a director range over many categories of drama, including Carson McCullers' A Member of the Wedding (1950); Jean Giraudoux's drama of ideas Tiger at the Gates (1955); and Jean Anouilh's farce Waltz of the Toreadors (1957).
He was also a poet, a playwright, an essayist, and a successful translator into Polish of Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Claudel, Andre Gide, and Jean Giraudoux. Moreover, he translated some of H.
Faustus, Goethe's Faust, and Jean Giraudoux's Tiger at the Gates.
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.