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Born Feb. 22, 1864, in Châlons-sur-Mayenne; died May 22, 1910, in Paris. French writer.
Renard studied in lycées in Nevers and Paris. He wrote a cycle of realistic short stories, which included the collections A Village Crime (1888) and Forced Smiles (1890) and the cycles of novellas Wood Lice (1889, published 1919) and The Cadger (1892), portraying the way of life and mores of his compatriots. The novella Carrot Top (1894) depicted the extinction of human feelings within a bourgeois family and the sufferings of a child wounded by insults. Renard’s wrathful satire was directed against idle and wicked members of the bourgeoisie. His play Carrot Top, presented at the Théâtre Antoine (1900), became well known.
Renard’s depiction of nature’s restless harmony in his collection of miniatures Natural Histories (1896) contrasts with his portrayal of the barren life of ordinary people in the collections of stories The Dark Lantern (1893) and The Winegrower in His Vineyard (1894). In the short-story playlets and dramas in the collections Bucolics (1898) and Our Wild Brothers (1908), Renard penetrates into the peasants’ unhappy existence, sympathetically re-creating the life of the village. In his Diary (1925–27), Renard described his style as precise, vivid, and “sculpturally” incisive.
WORKSOeuvres, vols. 1–2. [Paris, 1970–71.]
In Russian translation:
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1946.
Dnevnik. (Compiled and an introductory article by B. Pesis.) Moscow, 1965.
REFERENCESIstoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Guichard, L. Renard. [Paris, 1961.]
V. P. BALASHOV