Jules Romains

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Romains, Jules


(pen name of Louis Farigoule). Born Aug. 26, 1885, in Saint-Julien-Chapteuil, in the department of Haute-Loire; died Aug. 14, 1972, in Paris. French writer. Member of the Académie Française (1946).

Romains graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in 1906. He began his career as a poet and was the founder of the unanimist school. In the 1920’s he wrote grotesque farces denouncing political mores and learned and literary charlatanism, including Dr. Knock (1924; staged 1923), the “cinematographic tale” Donogoo-Tonka (1920; staged 1930), and the comedy Monsieur le Trouhadec in the Grip of Debauchery (1923).

In the 1930’s, Romains’s political views underwent a shift to the right. He did not understand the currents of historical development and consequently failed in his attempt to create an epic of French life between 1908 and 1933 in the novel Men of Good Will (vols. 1–27, 1932–6; Russian translation, vols. 1–4, 1933), a work notable for its systematic and objective approach.

Romains’s articles and speeches (1939–60) about World War II and the fate of France and of bourgeois democracy were collected in The Highs and Lows of Freedom (1960), the philosophic essays To Preserve Reason (vols. 1–3, 1960–67), and the reminiscences Friendships and Encounters ( 1970).


Portraits d’inconnus. Paris [1962].
In Russian translation:
Sobr. sock, vols. 1–9. Leningrad, 1925–30.
Izbr. stikhi. Translated by A. Efros. Moscow, 1928.


Lunacharskii, A. V. “Molodaia frantsuzskaia poeziia.” Sobr. soch., vol. 5. Moscow, 1965.
Lunacharskii, A. V. “Predislovie.” In J. Romains, Gospodin Truadek ν
lapakh razvrata. Moscow [1925], Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959. Vol. 4: Moscow, 1963.
Berry, M. Jules Romains. Paris [1959].
Livres de France, 1966, no. 8 (special issue).
Cuisenier, A. J. Romains. Paris [1969]. (Contains bibliography.)
L’Humanité, Aug. 18, 1972, p. 7. (Obituary.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The drawings he produced were simple and were used on the pages of Jules Romains's Pierres Levees: Poemes.
During World War II, the bookstore also ran a publishing house, La Maison Francaise, that published authors fleeing Nazism such as Andre Maurois, Jules Romains and "The Little Prince" writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
His fiction emulated the now-also-defunct French genre of the roman-fleuve or literary river, once exemplified by the work of Jules Romains, in which a group of characters is followed through the passage of decades.
Not only was he reading the short-story cycles, but also the complete Seven Arts, Hart Crane's early poetry, Kenneth Burke's essays in The Dial, Lewis Mumford's The Story of Utopias (1922), and all of Waldo Frank, including essays that Frank had written on Jules Romains and unanimisme.
Shaw called it 'an earthly paradise'; Jules Romains spoke of the 'inexhaustible charm' of its wall walk.
Thus while it is illuminating to be reminded that Ayme's multiplicity of perspectives and pantheistic humanism owe more than is realized to Jules Romains's Unanimism, the reference to 'son esprit anticonformiste epris de liberte' (p.