Jean Anouilh

There is no outside area or courtyard but there are lots of cafe's nearby. Reviews varied at the time and since but whatever the critique, the play represents Cocteau's state of mind and feelings towards his actors at the time: His account, which includes vivid pen-and-ink illustrations, alternates between his moment-to-moment experiences of drug withdrawal and his current thoughts about people and events in his world. In Paul Morihien published a clandestine edition of Querelle de Brest by Jean Genet , featuring 29 very explicit erotic drawings by Cocteau. Anouilh was one of the master technicians of the modern drama. This page was last edited on 13 July , at

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Click Choose what to clear underneath Clear browsing data. Click Show more , then make sure only the box labeled Location permissions is checked. Jean Anouilh June 23, — October 3, was one of the leading French dramatists of the twentieth century.

He was best known for his dramaturgical skill and emphasis on literary craftsmanship. His best known works include an updated version of Antigone and Becket, ou l'honneur de Dieu.

Anouilh moved away from the dominant elements of modern theater, Realism and Naturalism , in favor of more artistic concerns. His plays employ some of the elements of the Shakespearean theater, including the use of flash forwards and flash backs, as well as the "play within a play" technique. In his earlier works, he examined the relationship of the individual in modern society and the conflict between individual desires and social concerns.

His updated treatment of Antigone represents the extreme element of the individual who will not bend to social pressure and who pays a heavy price for her stubbornness. His father was a tailor and Anouilh maintained that he inherited from him a pride in conscientious craftmanship. He may owe his artistic bent to his mother, a violinist who eked out the family's meager budget playing summer seasons in the casino orchestra in the nearby seaside resort of Arcachon.

Jean-Louis Barrault, later a major French director, was a pupil there at the same time and recalls Anouilh as an intense, rather dandified figure who hardly noticed a lad some two years younger than himself.

Anouilh enrolled as a law student in the University of Paris , only to abandon the course after just eighteen months when he found employment in the advertising industry. He liked the work and spoke more than once with wry approval of the lessons in the classical virtues of brevity and precision of language he learned while drafting copy.

He struggled through years of poverty producing several plays until he eventually wound up as secretary to the great actor-director Louis Jouvet. He quickly discovered he could not get along with this gruff man and left his company. During the Nazi occupation of France , Anouilh did not openly take sides, though he published the play Antigone , often viewed as his most famous work.

The play criticizes in an allegorical manner collaborationism with the Nazis. Mostly keeping aloof from politics, Anouilh also clashed with Charles de Gaulle in the s. Anouilh himself grouped his plays on the basis of their dominant tone: He was an outstanding writer with a unique ability to craft a wide spectrum of brilliant masterpieces. Because he refused to take sides during France's collaboration with the Axis Alliance some critics have branded him as a potential Nazi sympathiser.

In the mids Anouilh and several other intellectuals signed a petition for clemency to save the writer Robert Brasillach , who was condemned to death for being a Nazi collaborator. Brasillach was executed by firing squad in February , despite the outcry from Anouilh and his peers that the new government had no right to persecute individuals for "intellectual crimes" in the absence of military or political action.

The rest of my life, as long as God wills it, will remain my personal business, and I will withhold the details of it. For instance Antigone , provides an allegorical representation of the debate between the idealistic members of the French Resistance and the pragmatism of the collaborationists.

Though many have read the play as having a strong anti-Nazi sentiment, the fact that the Vichy Regime allowed the piece to be performed without censure testifies to the fact that it was potentially seen as supportive of the occupation in its time.

In his work was recognized with the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca. In , the Nobel Records were opened after 50 years and it was revealed that Anouilh was among a shortlist of authors considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature , along with John Steinbeck winner , Robert Graves , Lawrence Durrell and Karen Blixen. By the end of his career, Anouilh's reputation outstripped all his contemporaries.

However, his repertoire remained unusually confined to theatre and film. Most French dramatists of the s and s, including Anouilh's most significant contemporary influence, Giraudoux, not only wrote for the stage but also composed poetry, novels, or essays. Anouilh's early works were "naturalistic studies of a sordid and corrupt world. There is little to no "middle ground of ambiguity" that exists where this conflict asserts itself.

The main character Gaston, a World War I veteran who suffers from amnesia, cannot remember the moral depravity of his youth he slept with his brother's wife and severely injured his best friend. This checkered past is invariably at odds with the near-angelic behavior that he now exhibits, and recognition of this truth forces him to leave his former identity behind, unable to reconcile the two sides of himself.

In denouncing his past, Gaston reclasses his freedom as an illusion, but one of his own making. He befriends a young English boy and shows him his identifying scar; this gesture allows the boy to describe Gaston to the authorities, thereby claiming him as kin. With a new life and a new family, Gaston has a fresh start.

Grossvogel, describes this situation as the "restoration of a childhood paradise lost," attributing Le Voyageur Sans Bagage as the beginning of Anouilh's search to justify the unhappiness of his youth.

Anouilh disagreed with these somber readings of his best works, however, arguing that, like all great French literature, his plays had found ways to laugh at misfortune. This humor is one of France's messages to the world. Disclosing his thoughts on French theatre and his personal perspective as a playwright, he said that the perception of his work was often misguided:.

I am played in private theaters, so I write for the bourgeoisie. One has to rely on the people who pay for their places; the people who support the theater are bourgeois. But this public has changed: They have such a terror of not being in touch, of missing out on a fashionable event that they no longer exist as a decisive force.

I think the public has lost its head. They now say that a play can't be that good if they can understand it. My plays are not hermetic enough. Though he shared with these authors a "similar desperate vision of human existence," [23] these new absurdist theatres' pursuit of alternative dramaturgies made Anouilh's semi-realistic plays seem dull and old-fashioned. In the s Anouilh reinvented himself as a director, staging his own plays as well as those of other authors.

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