Definitions

Giraudoux

Giraudoux

[zheer-uh-doo, zheer-uh-doo; Fr. zhee-roh-doo]
Giraudoux, Jean, 1882-1944, French novelist and dramatist. He was a prolific writer and combined his literary work with a long and successful diplomatic career. His early novels, which display his impressionistic, fanciful style, include Les Provinciales (1909) and Suzanne and the Pacific (1921, tr. 1923). Amica America (1919) relates a stay in the United States. In 1928, Giraudoux launched his dramatic career with Siegfried (tr. 1930), an adaptation of his novel Siegfried et le Limousin (1922, tr. My Friend from Limousin, 1923). Most of his subsequent plays, including Amphitryon 38 (1929, tr. 1937), La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu (1935, tr. Tiger at the Gates, 1955), and Électre (1937), are imaginative modern reinterpretations of Greek myths, satirizing selfishness, greed, and moral frailty. The Madwoman of Chaillot (1945, tr. 1947) is a bitter satire on 20th-century materialism.

See studies by R. Cohen (1968, repr. 1970), G. Lemaitre (1971), and Paul Mankin (1971).

(born Oct. 29, 1882, Bellac, France—died Jan. 31, 1944, Paris) French novelist, essayist, and playwright. He made the diplomatic service his career, while becoming known as an avant-garde writer with early poetic novels such as Suzanne et le Pacifique (1921). He created an impressionistic form of drama by emphasizing dialogue and style rather than realism. In such works as Électre (1937) and Cantique des cantiques (1938), he sought inspiration in Classical or biblical tradition. His most famous works are Tiger at the Gates (1935), about the Trojan War, and The Madwoman of Chaillot (1946).

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