Pierre Macorlan

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Macorlan, Pierre


(pseudonym of Pierre Dumarchais). Born Feb. 26, 1882, in Peronne, department of Somme; died June 27, 1970, in Saint-Cyr-sur-Morin, department of Seine-et-Marne. French author.

MacOrlan was the son of an officer. The novel The Yellow Dream (1914; Russian translation, 1926) clearly reveals the decadent outlook of the early MacOrlan. In his novella U-713 (1917) he satirized prussianism in World War I. MacOrlan saw life during the postwar period as a grotesque dance of false faces —for example, in the stories “The Negro Leonard” (1920) and “Perfidy” (1923; Russian translation, 1925). A romantic writer of fear and despair, MacOrlan resignedly accepted the dominance of the powers that be. In his lampoon novel Elsa the Cavalrywoman (1921) he frightened his fellow citizens with his nonsensical stories about the Civil War of 1918-20 in Soviet Russia; in the novel International Venus (1923) MacOrlan wrote about the “Red peril.”

MacOrlan’s personal experiences induced him to overcome the nihilism of despair and to reject his anarchic conception of the historical process. In the novel Quay of Mists (1927) he gave a sympathetic portrayal of the victims of social evil; in the detective story “Camp Domino” (1937), MacOrlan debunked the adventurists and pillagers bent on espionage and war. In Chronicle of the End of One World (1940), he upheld “social romanticism,” the idea of the individual’s responsibility to history and his mother country, and rejected the far-fetched horrors and aesthetics of decadence. MacOrlan is also known as a poet and songwriter (Pre-dawn Diary, 1955; the collection Memories in Songs, 1965).


OEuvres completes, vols. 1-23. Edited by G. Sigaux. Paris, 1969-71.
In Russian translation:
Matrosskaia pesnia … , stat’ia I. Anisimova. Moscow-Leningrad [1928].


“Bon anniversaire, P. MacOrlan.” Les Lettres françaises, Feb. 23-Mar. 1, 1967, no. 1171, pp. 1-15.
Baritaud, B. P. MacOrlan. [Paris, 1971.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.