Louis Aragon


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Aragon, Louis

 

Born Oct. 3,1897, in Paris. French writer and political figure. Member of the French Communist Party since 1927 and of the Party’s central committee since 1954.

In 1915, Aragon enrolled in a Paris medical school and beginning in 1917 served as a medical orderly in World War I. He wrote his first poems in 1917. In the early 1920’s he became an adherent of dadaism (collection of poems Fireworks, 1920) and later, of surrealism. Criticism of the bourgeois world is already strongly pronounced in his early poems. In subsequent works, Aragón developed toward realism. The Soviet Union became the symbol of the new world for him; this is evident in the narrative poem The Red Front (1931; Russian translation, 1931) and the collection of poems Hurrah, Urals! (1934). The cycle of novels The Real World (1934–51) depicts the working class as a rising force of the nation. During the German fascist occupation, Aragon was one of the organizers and bards of the French Resistance (1940–44) and contributed to the underground newspaper Lettres Françoises. In the collections of poems Knife in the Heart (1941), Elsa’s Eyes (1942), The Wax Museum (1943), and The French Dawn (1945), in the collection of short stories Decline and Grandeur of the French (1945), and in other works the bitterness of France’s defeat is inseparable from the call to battle. Between 1946 and 1953 he published two books of documentary prose, The Communist Man. In the collection of poems A Knife in the Heart Again (1948), Aragon sharply criticizes the penetration of US imperialism into Europe. The cycle The Real World was concluded in 1949–51 with the novel The Communists (Russian translation, 1953; new and revised French edition, 1967). The narrative poem Eyes and Memory (1954) is an attempt to poetically interpret mankind’s paths of development. Aragon did much to popularize Soviet literature in France; he published the book Soviet Literatures (1955), where he wrote about the full growth of the multinational culture of the USSR. The partly biographical narrative poem Unfinished Novel (1956) is devoted to the political events of the 20th century. The novel The Holy Week (1958; Russian translation, 1960) depicts the artist’s path toward the people against a broad social and historical background. Aragon is also the author of the narrative poem The Poets (1960) and of the experimental lyrical novels Death for Good (1965) and Blanche, or Oblivion (1967). He published several books and articles on problems in modern literature in which he opposed the dogmatic interpretation of socialist realism; at the same time he also expressed several debatable thoughts.

Aragon is a member of the World Peace Council. He has been awarded the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Peoples (1957) and received honorary doctor of science degrees from Moscow and Prague universities.

WORKS

Choix de poèmes. Moscow, 1959.
Poésies (Anthologie, 1917–1960). Paris, 1960.
Les Oeuvres romanesques croisés d’Elsa Triolet et Aragon, vols. 1–32. Paris, 1965–67.
La Mise a mort. [Paris, 1965.]
Blanche ou l’oubli. [Paris, 1967.]
Aragon parle avec Dominique Arban. [Paris, 1968.]
Les Chambres. Paris, 1969.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–11. Moscow, 1957–61.
Literatura i iskusstvo: Izbrannye stat’i i rechi. Moscow, 1957.
Neokonchennyi roman. El’za. Poemy. Moscow, 1960.

REFERENCES

Pesis, B. O geroe progressivnoi literatury Frantsii. Moscow, 1956.
Pesis, B. Ot XIX k XX veku: Traditsiia inovatorstvo vo frants, lit-re. Moscow, 1968.
Trushchenko, E. Lui Aragon. Moscow, 1958.
Sotsialisticheskii realizm ν zarubezhnykh literaturakh. Moscow, 1960.
Isbakh, A. Lui Aragon. [Moscow, 1962.]
Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1963.
Balashova, T. Tvorchestvo Aragona. Moscow, 1964. (Bibliography, pp. 291–308.)
Balashova, T. “Liricheskii epos Aragona.” In Poeziia sotsializma. Moscow, 1969.
Pisateli Frantsii. Moscow, 1964.
Puzikov, A. “Chitaia Aragona.” In his book Portrety frantsuzskikh pisatelei. Moscow, 1957.
Zhukov, Iu. “Zloba dnia: K itogam parizhskogo literaturnogo sezona.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1968, no. 8.
Lui Aragon: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1956.
Lescure, P. de. Aragon romancier. Paris, [1960].
Roy, Cl. Aragon. Paris, 1962.
Sadoul, G. Aragon. Paris, 1967.
“Elsa Triolet et Aragon.” Europe, 1967, nos. 454–55. (With bibliography.)

A. A. ISBAKH

References in periodicals archive ?
A Paris de Juan Larrea, Vicente Huidobro, Pablo Neruda, Louis Aragon, Tristan Tzara e Pablo Picasso, intelectualidade que descobre no peruano austero um manancial inovador.
This is a thoughtful and well-illustrated study of the memory of war in the work of Louis Aragon.
And saving the best for last, Danielle Darrieux, all 85 elegant years of her, sings "Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux" ("There Is No Happy Love"), a poem by Louis Aragon set to music by Georges Brassens.
THROUGHOUT HISTORY, women have been recognized only in terms of their relationship to men as daughters, lovers, or wives, and this is particularly so in the case of Elsa Triolet, known primarily as lover, wife, and muse of one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, Louis Aragon.
Louis Aragon, an eminence grise of the French Communist party, took an interest in the production and lobbied the Soviet authorities on Plisetskaya's behalf.
but let Louis Aragon tell it: "At the cafe in the hubbub of voices, in plain daylight, and the elbowing, Robert Desnos has only to shut his eyes, and he speaks, and in the midst of the bocks, the saucers, the whole place collapses with a prophetic roar.
In addition to the more recent work, Yearbook #1 contains some surrealist artifacts: short pieces by Hugo Ball, Louis Aragon, Erik Satie, Giorgio Di Chirico, Gertrude Stein, John Cage, and Morton Feldman.
Most notable among Dada pamphlets and reviews was Litterature (published 1919-24), which contained writings by Andre Breton, Louis Aragon, Philippe Soupault, and Paul Eluard.
Moscow Government to a French Communist leader named LOUIS ARAGON.
The following year they joined in Paris with Andre Breton, who, with Louis Aragon, Paul eluard, and Philippe Soupault, founded the ironically titled review Litterature.
Among those participating were Louis Aragon, Andre Malraux and Romain Rolland; a number of exiled German writers, including Bertolt Brecht and Anna Seghers; E.