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Born Nov. 8, 1887, in Fort-de-France, Martinique; died May 9, 1960, in Paris. African French-language writer.
Maran was a Negro from the Antilles. He grew up and was educated in France. For 13 years he served as a colonial administration official in Ubangi-Shari (present-day Central African Republic). All of Maran’s writings are about Africa—its people, natural beauty, folk tales, and history. Modern African writers consider him their predecessor.
In his first novel, Batuala (1921; Prix Goncourt, 1921; Russian translation, 1922), about the life of an African tribe, Maran bore witness to the inhumanity of European colonization. He was the author of the novels and novellas Djouma the Jungle Dog (1927; Russian translation, 1927), Heartaches (1944), and A Man Like Any Other (1947); collections of folk tales and animal stories; historical works (Pioneers of the Empire, vol. 1, 1943; vol. 2, 1946); and biographies and essays. The poems written between 1909 and 1957 have been assembled in the collection Book of Memories (1958). Maran was awarded the Grand Prix de Litterature of the Academic Franchise in 1942.
WORKSLe Livre de la brousse. Paris, 1937.
Bertrand Du Guesclin ou l’épée du roi. Paris, 1960. (With bibliography.)
REFERENCESVel’tman, S. Vostok v khudozhestvennoi literature. [Moscow-Leningrad] 1928.
Potekhina, G. I. Ocherki sovremennoi literatury Zapadnoi Afriki. Moscow, 1968. Pages 14-16.
Damas, L-G. “René Maran n’est plus.” Présence Africaine, 1960, no. 30.
Senghor, L. S. “Liberté I.” Négritude et humanisme. Paris . Pages 407-11.
G. I. POTEKHINA