Jean Giraudoux

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Jean Giraudoux
Jean Giraudoux 1927.jpg
Portrait of Giraudoux in 1927
Born(1882-10-29)29 October 1882
Bellac, Haute-Vienne, France
Died31 January 1944(1944-01-31) (aged 61)
Paris, France
OccupationDramatist
NationalityFrench
Notable works The Madwoman of Chaillot ,
Ondine ,
Duel of Angels ,
The Trojan War Will Not Take Place
SpouseSuzanne Boland
ChildrenJean-Pierre Giraudoux 1919–2000

Hippolyte Jean Giraudoux (French:  [ʒiʁodu] ; 29 October 1882 – 31 January 1944) was a French novelist, essayist, diplomat and playwright. He is considered among the most important French dramatists of the period between World War I and World War II. [1] His work is noted for its stylistic elegance and poetic fantasy. Giraudoux's dominant theme is the relationship between man and woman—or in some cases, between man and some unattainable ideal.

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Biography

Giraudoux was born in Bellac, Haute-Vienne, where his father, Léger Giraudoux, worked for the Ministry of Transport. Giraudoux studied at the Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux and upon graduation traveled extensively in Europe. After his return to France in 1910, he accepted a position with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With the outbreak of World War I, he served with distinction and in 1915 became the first writer ever to be awarded the wartime Legion of Honour. [2]

He married in 1918 and in the subsequent inter-war period produced the majority of his writing. He first achieved literary success through his novels, notably Siegfried et le Limousin (1922) and Eglantine (1927). An ongoing collaboration with actor and theater director Louis Jouvet, beginning in 1928 with Jouvet's radical streamlining of Siegfried for the stage, stimulated his writing. [3] But it is his plays that gained him international renown. He became well known in the English speaking world largely because of the award-winning adaptations of his plays by Christopher Fry ( Tiger at the Gates ) and Maurice Valency ( The Madwoman of Chaillot , Ondine , The Enchanted , The Apollo of Bellac ).

Giraudoux served as a juror with Florence Meyer Blumenthal in awarding the Prix Blumenthal, a grant given between 1919 and 1954 to painters, sculptors, decorators, engravers, writers, and musicians. [4] In politics he was affiliated with the Radical Party, served in the cabinet of Édouard Herriot in 1932, and was appointed as Minister of Information by Édouard Daladier in 1939. [5] [6]

He is buried in the Cimetière de Passy in Paris. [7]

Works

English-language collections

Related Research Articles

Louis Jouvet French actor

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The Théâtre des Champs-Élysées is an entertainment venue standing at 15 avenue Montaigne in Paris. It is situated near Avenue des Champs-Élysées, from which it takes its name. Its eponymous main hall may seat up to 1,905 people, while the smaller Comédie and Studio des Champs-Élysées above the latter may seat 601 and 230 people respectively.

<i>The Trojan War Will Not Take Place</i> literary work

The Trojan War Will Not Take Place is a play written in 1935 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux. In 1955 it was translated into English by Christopher Fry with the title Tiger at the Gates. The play has two acts and follows the convention of the classical unities.

The Apollo of Bellac is a comedic one-act play written in 1942 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux.

<i>The Madwoman of Chaillot</i> literary work

The Madwoman of Chaillot is a play, a poetic satire, by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, written in 1943 and first performed in 1945, after his death. The play is in two acts. The story concerns an eccentric woman who lives in Paris and her struggles against the straitlaced authority figures in her life.

<i>Amphitryon 38</i> 1929 play written by Jean Giraudoux

Amphitryon 38 is a play written in 1929 by the French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, the number in the title being Giraudoux's whimsical approximation of how many times the story had been told on stage previously.

Song of Songs is an English adaptation of the play Cantique des Cantiques written in 1938 by the French dramatist Jean Giraudoux.

<i>Electra</i> (Giraudoux play) play by Jean Giraudoux

Electra is a two-act play written in 1937 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux. It was the first Giraudoux play to employ the staging of Louis Jouvet. Based on the classic myth of antiquity, Electra has a surprisingly tragic force, without losing the spirit and sparkling humor that made Jean Giraudoux one of the most important playwrights of the mid twentieth century.

L'Impromptu de Paris is a play written in 1937 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux.

The Enchanted is a 1950 English adaptation by Maurice Valency of the play Intermezzo written in 1933 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux.

<i>Judith</i> (Giraudoux) play written by Jean Giraudoux

Judith is a play written in 1931 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux.

<i>Ondine</i> (play) play by Jean Giraudoux

Ondine is a play written in 1938 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, based on the 1811 novella Undine by the German Romantic Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué that tells the story of Hans and Ondine. Hans is a knight-errant who has been sent off on a quest by his betrothed. In the forest he meets and falls in love with Ondine, a water-sprite who is attracted to the world of mortal man. The subsequent marriage of people from different worlds is, of course, folly. By turns comic, enchanting, and tragic, Ondine is considered by some to be Giraudoux's finest work.

Duel of Angels (1963) is an English-language adaptation by Christopher Fry of the play Pour Lucrèce (1944) by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux. The play is based on the story of Lucretia, the virtuous Roman housewife who was raped and, finding no support from her husband and his friends, is driven to suicide. This is the same legend that was used by Shakespeare in The Rape of Lucrece. Giraudoux gives the Roman legend a new locale, setting his drama in nineteenth-century Aix-en-Provence in southern France.

Siegfried is a play written in 1928 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, adapted from his own 1922 novel Siegfried et le Limousin. The novel had launched Giraudoux's literary career, and now the play based upon it established his reputation as a playwright. "It [Siegfried] marked the beginning of a productive, lifelong collaboration with actor-director Louis Jouvet, whom Giraudoux credits with transforming his literary plays into theater pieces."

<i>The Virtuous Island</i> play written by Jean Giraudoux

The Virtuous Island is a 1956 English adaptation by Maurice Valency of the play Supplément au voyage de Cook written in 1935 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux.

Tessa is a play written in 1934 by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux. It is a translation and adaptation of a 1926 stage version by Margaret Kennedy and Basil Dean of the former's 1924 novel The Constant Nymph.

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Maurice Valency was a playwright, author, critic, and popular professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University, best known for his award-winning adaptations of plays by Jean Giraudoux and Friedrich Dürrenmatt. He wrote several original plays, but is best known for his adaptations of the plays of others. Valency's version of The Madwoman of Chaillot would become the basis of the Jerry Herman musical Dear World on Broadway.

References

  1. Brockett, Oscar. History of the Theatre Boston: Allyn and Bacon. 1968. p. 621.
  2. Fowlie, Wallace. Jean Giraudoux in Gassner, John and Edward Quinn ed. The Reader's Encyclopedia of World Drama. New York, Thomas Crowell. 1969. p. 359.
  3. "Encyclopædia Britannica Online: "Jean Giraudoux"". Britannica.com. 2013-11-06. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  4. "Florence Meyer Blumenthal". Jewish Women's Archive, Michele Siegel.
  5. Body, Jacques (1991). Jean Giraudoux: The Legend and the Secret. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press. p. 56.
  6. Ganz, Arthur (1972). "Human and Suprahuman: Ambiguity in the Tragic World of Jean Giraudoux". PMLA. 87 (2): 284–294. doi:10.2307/460883. JSTOR   460883.
  7. New York Times; February 1, 1944 Jean Giraudoux obituary.
  8. The Duchess of Langeais at the Internet Movie Database
  9. Les anges du péché at the Internet Movie Database
  10. GIRAUDOUX Jean & . (Author) (1919-01-01). "GIRAUDOUX Jean & – Adieu à la guerre.: GIRAUDOUX Jean &" . Retrieved 2014-06-03.

Further reading