Supervielle, Jules

Supervielle, Jules

Supervielle, Jules (zhül süpĕrvyĕlˈ), 1884–1960, French author, b. Uruguay. His life was divided between Montevideo, where he was born, and Paris, where he was educated. The freshness and originality of his works are often attributed to his South American background. His stories treat grand subjects with everyday simplicity, making much use of fantasy, allegory, and myth. Among his works are the novels L'Homme de la pampa (1923) and Le Survivant (1928); volumes of short stories including L'Enfant de la haute mer (1931) and Le Petit Bos (1942); plays such as Bolivar (1936); and volumes of poetry including Poèmes de la France malheureuse (1941).


See his Selected Writings (tr. 1967).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Supervielle, Jules


Born Jan. 16, 1884, in Montevideo, Uruguay; died May 17,1960, in Paris. French writer.

After spending his childhood in South America, Supervielle went abroad and was educated at the Sorbonne. He began publishing in 1900. His collections Poems of Sorrowful Love (1919) and Landing Stages (1922) were followed by Gravitations (1925), which was praised by R. M. Rilke. Subsequent poetry collections by Supervielle were Oloron-Sainte-Marie (1927), The Innocent Convict (1930), The Unknown Friends (1934), and Fable of the World (1938).

Supervielle’s works dating from the period of World War II (1939–45), Poems About Unfortunate France (1941, 1942) and the collection 1939–1945: Poems (1946) were in the final analysis optimistic, in spite of the bitterness and pain they expressed. After the war, Supervielle published the collections Forgetful Memory (1949), Births (1951), The Staircase (1956), and The Tragic Body (1959).

Predominant in Supervielle’s early collections were the theme of nature, a sense of the romance of travel, and imagery drawn from the ancient cultures of South America. Supervielle’s mature works were marked by melancholy, anxiety, a concern with death, and the influence of myths and of Roman Catholicism. Supervielle published the novels The Man From the Pampas (1923), The Kidnappers (1926) and its sequel The Survivor (1928), and Young Man on Sunday (1955), as well as the short-story collections The Child of the High Seas (1931, 1946) and Noah’s Ark (1938), which expanded on the themes of his poetry. He also wrote the comedies The Beauty of the Wood (1932), Bolivar (1936), Robinson (1949), and Scheherezade (1949).


In Russian translation:
In la pishu tvoe imia, Svoboda. [Moscow, 1968.]


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1963.
Roy, C. J. Supervielle. [Paris, 1967.] (Contains bibliography.)
Blair, D. S. Jules Supervielle: A Modern Fabulist. Oxford, 1960.
Etiemble, R. Supervielle. Paris, 1960.
Vivier, R. Lire Supervielle. Paris [1972].


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