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Definition: Aragon, Louis (1897 - 1982) from The Macmillan Encyclopedia

In 1919 he and André Breton founded the surrealist journal Littérature; his first books of poetry, Feu de joie (1920) and Le Mouvement perpétuel (1925), and his prose work Le Paysan de Paris (1926) are vigorously surrealist. He became a communist after a visit to the Soviet Union in 1930 and turned to social realism, especially in novels such as Holy Week (1958) and the series entitled Le Monde reél (1933-51). He was editor of the left-wing weekly Les Lettres françaises.


Summary Article: Aragon, Louis from The Columbia Encyclopedia

(lwē ärägôN'), 1897–1982, French writer. One of the founders of surrealism in literature, Aragon abandoned that philosophy for Marxism after a trip to the USSR in 1931. He was a leader of the Resistance during World War II, and he edited the radical Paris daily Ce Soir and later the Communist weekly Les Lettres françaises. Aragon's early works include the volume of poems Feu de joie (1920) and the surrealistic novel Le Paysan de Paris (1926, tr. Nightwalker, 1970). His cycle of social novels concerning political responsibility are translated as The Bells of Basel (1934, tr. 1941), Residential Quarter (1936, tr. 1938), The Century Was Young (1941, tr. 1941), and Aurelien (1945, tr. 1947). Les Communistes, the first of his five-volume cycle of realistic novels, appeared in 1949. His later works include a novel about the artist Jean Louis Géricault, Holy Week (1958, tr. 1961); a history of the USSR from 1917 to 1960, Histoire parallèle (1962, tr. 1964); the novel La Mise à mort (1965); and a two-volume memoir of Matisse (1972). His major works of poetry include Le Crève-coeur (1941), war poems; the series of love poems to his wife, the novelist Triolet: Les Yeux d'Elsa (1954), Elsa (1959), and Le Fou d'Elsa (1963); and Les Chambres (1969).

  • See Louis Aragon, Poet of the French Resistance (ed. by H. Josephson and M. Cowley, 1945);.
  • study by L. F. Becker (1971).
The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2017

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