Born Feb. 10, 1898, in Clara, Argentina. French writer; member of the French Academy (1962).
Kessel is the son of a physician of Russian descent. He studied in Russia between 1905 and 1908. He graduated from the faculty of philology at the Sorbonne and was a pilot and war correspondent during World War I (1914–18). Fame came to Kessel with The Flight Crew (1923), a novel about the pioneers of aviation. A participant in the Resistance, Kessel chronicled the movement in Army of Shadows (1944; Russian translation, 1971) and The Celestial Battalion (1947). He wrote The Song of the Partisans with M. Druon in 1943. Kessel’s postwar reportage and fiction reveal an integrated and humane person who, although inclined toward anarchism, is nevertheless objectively opposed to the venality of bourgeois society (as in the novels The Lion, 1958, and The Horsemen, 1967; the novella In the Name of Honor, 1964).
WORKSTémoin parmi les hommes, vols. 1–4. Paris, 1956–69.
Tous n’étaient pas des anges. Paris, 1963.
In Russian translation:
Meri iz Korka. Moscow, 1925.
REFERENCEJ. Kessel: Images, reportages, aventures. Paris, 1969.
N. N. POLIANSKII