Marcel Prévost

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Prévost, Marcel


Born May 1, 1862, in Paris; died Apr. 8, 1941, in Vianne, department of Lot-et-Garonne. French writer. Member of the Académie Française (1909).

Prévost studied at Catholic colleges in Bordeaux and Paris and graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique. His first novel, The Scorpion (1887; Russian translation, 1901), which depicts the mores of a Jesuit college, was written under the influence of Zola.

Prévost wrote romantic and psychological novels that combined erotic scenes with censure of adultery and praise of Christian duty. They included Mademoiselle Jauffre (1889), A Woman’s Autumn (1893; Russian translation, 1893), The Demi-Vierges (1894; Russian translation, 1895; play of the same title, 1898), and The Happy Couple (1901).

In his later works, Prévost was primarily a moralist, as seen in the novels Strong Maidens (vols. 1–2, 1900) and Letters to Françoise (vols. 1–4, 1902–24). The events of World War I were reflected in the novels Petty Officer Bénoît (1916; Russian translation, 1916) and My Dear Tommy (1920).


Oeuvres completes, [vols. 1–33]. Paris, 1887–1924.
L’Homme vierge. Paris, 1948.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1–4. St. Petersburg, 1901.
Sobr. soch. [books 1–14]. St. Petersburg [1912].
Don-Zhuanshi. Petrograd, 1923.


Bertaut, J. M. Prévost. Paris [1904]. (Contains bibliography.)
M. Prévost. Brussels, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
By examining lesbian, gay and erotic texts by Catulle Mendes, Henri d'Argis and Marcel Prevost from the 1890s and late 1880s, I will attempt to provide an early literary context for Proust's writing about homosexuality.
Although Proust said that he cordially detested the novels of Marcel Prevost, (21) he did read some of them and probably in particular the bestseller Les Demi-vierges, published in 1894.
(21.) Proust writes to Georges de Lauris, "Vous savez l'horreur que j'ai des livres de Marcel Prevost. Ce sont des chefs-d'oeuvre a cote." Corr.
As militant Jeanne Oddo-Deflou pointed out, "Certain people are rather naive to imagine that Marcel Prevost is a feminist." Noting how lacking in "nobility and dignity" were the feminine types he traced in his novels, Oddo-Deflou argued that "When, by chance, he departs from his usual rut and depicts strong virgins such as Frederique and Lea, he cannot prevent himself from either de-sexing them in some way, or making them victims and martyrs of the monstrous anomaly that is, for Prevost, the independence of our sex." (51) Referring to the French author's portrayal of his novel's protagonists as sexless and ascetic manhaters, Oddo-Deflou exposed his tendency to reduce single women to well-worn stereotypes.
Marcel Prevost, has created a new type, the 'quasi-virgins' who, despite being virgins, can hardly find suitors....
Marcel Prevost, Les Vierges fortes: Frederique (Paris: Alphonse Lemerre, 1900).
On September 29, 1913, Marcel Prevost had flown at 126.67 mph (203.85 kph) in a Deperdussin monoplane--1 mph less than the unofficial land-speed record established by Fred Marriott in the Stanley Rocket back in 1906.