François Mauriac: Wikis


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François Mauriac

François Mauriac in 1932
Born François Charles Mauriac
11 October 1885(1885-10-11)
Bordeaux, France
Died 1 September 1970 (aged 84)
Paris, France
Occupation novelist, dramatist, critic, poet and journalist
Nationality Flag of France.svg French
Notable award(s) Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française
Nobel Prize in Literature

François Mauriac (11 October 1885 — 1 September 1970) was a French author; member of the Académie française (1933); laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1952). He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur (1958). He is acknowledged to be one of the greatest Roman Catholic writers of the 20th century.



He was born François Charles Mauriac in Bordeaux, France. He studied literature at the University of Bordeaux, graduating in 1905, after which he moved to Paris to prepare for postgraduate study at the École des Chartes. He was opposed to the rule in Vietnam, and strongly condemned the use of torture by the French army in Algeria. He also published a series of personal memoirs and a biography of Charles de Gaulle.

On 1 June 1933 he was elected a member of the Académie française, succeeding Eugène Brieux.[1]

In 1952, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature "for the deep spiritual insight and the artistic intensity with which he has in his novels penetrated the drama of human life".[2] He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur in 1958.[3] Mauriac's complete works were published in twelve volumes between 1950 and 1956. He also encouraged Elie Wiesel to write about his experiences as a Jew during the Holocaust, and wrote a foreword in Elie Wiesel's book, Night.

Mauriac had a bitter public dispute with Roger Peyrefitte, who criticised the Vatican in books such as Les Clés de saint Pierre (1953). Mauriac threatened to resign from the paper he was working with at the time (L'Express) if they did not stop carrying advertisements for Peyrefitte's books. The quarrel was exacerbated by the release of the film adaptation of Peyrefitte's Les Amitiés Particulières and culminated in a virulent open letter by Peyrefitte in which he accused Mauriac of homosexual tendencies and called him a Tartuffe.[4]

Mauriac also had a bitter dispute with Albert Camus immediately following the liberation of France in World War II. At that time, Camus edited the resistance paper (now an overt daily) Combat while Mauriac wrote a column for Le Figaro. Camus said newly liberated France should purge all Nazi collaborator elements, but Mauriac warned that such disputes should be set aside in the interests of national reconciliation. Mauriac also doubted that justice would be impartial or dispassionate given the emotional turmoil of liberation.

François Mauriac died in Paris on 1 September 1970 and was interred in the Cimetière de Vemars, Val d'Oise, France.

He was the father of writer Claude Mauriac and grandfather of Anne Wiazemsky, a French actress and author who worked with and married French director Jean-Luc Godard.

Awards and honors

  • 1926 — Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française
  • 1933 — member of the Académie française
  • 1952 — Nobel Prize in Literature
  • 1958 — Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur


Novels, novellas and short stories

  • 1913 - L'Enfant chargé de chaînes («Young Man in Chains», tr. 1961)
  • 1914 - La Robe prétexte («The Stuff of Youth», tr. 1960)
  • 1920 - La Chair et le Sang («Flesh and Blood», tr. 1954)
  • 1921 - Préséances («Questions of Precedence», tr. 1958)
  • 1922 - Le Baiser au lépreux («The Kiss to the Leper», tr. 1923 / «A Kiss to the Leper», tr. 1950)
  • 1923 - Le Fleuve de feu («The River of Fire», tr. 1954)
  • 1923 - Génitrix («Genetrix», tr. 1950)
  • 1923 - Le Mal («The Enemy», tr. 1949)
  • 1925 - Le Désert de l'amour («The Desert of Love», tr. 1949) (Awarded the Grand Prix du roman de l'Académie française, 1926.)
  • 1927 - Thérèse Desqueyroux («Thérèse», tr. 1928 / «Thérèse Desqueyroux», tr. 1947 and 2005)
  • 1928 - Destins («Destinies», tr. 1929 / «Lines of Life», tr. 1957)
  • 1929 - Trois Récits A volume of three stories: Coups de couteau, 1926; Un homme de lettres, 1926; Le Démon de la connaissance, 1928
  • 1930 - Ce qui était perdu («Suspicion», tr. 1931 / «That Which Was Lost», tr. 1951)
  • 1932 - Le Nœud de vipères («Vipers' Tangle», tr. 1933 / «The Knot of Vipers», tr. 1951)
  • 1933 - Le Mystère Frontenac («The Frontenac Mystery», tr. 1951 / «The Frontenacs», tr. 1961)
  • 1935 - La Fin de la nuit («The End of the Night», tr. 1947)
  • 1936 - Les Anges noirs («The Dark Angels», tr. 1951 / «The Mask of Innocence», tr. 1953)
  • 1938 - Plongées A volume of five stories: Thérèse chez le docteur, 1933 («Thérèse and the Doctor», tr. 1947); Thérèse à l'hôtel, 1933 («Thérèse at the Hotel», tr. 1947); Le Rang; Insomnie; Conte de Noël.
  • 1939 - Les Chemins de la mer («The Unknown Sea», tr. 1948)
  • 1941 - La Pharisienne («A Woman of Pharisees», tr. 1946)
  • 1951 - Le Sagouin («The Weakling», tr. 1952 / «The Little Misery», tr. 1952) (A novella)
  • 1952 - Galigaï («The Loved and the Unloved», tr. 1953)
  • 1954 - L'Agneau («The Lamb», tr. 1955)
  • 1969 - Un adolescent d'autrefois («Maltaverne», tr. 1970)
  • 1972 - Maltaverne (The unfinished sequel to the previous novel; posthumously published.)


  • 1938 - Asmodée («Asmodée; or, The Intruder», tr. 1939 / «Asmodée: A Drama in Three Acts», tr. 1957)
  • 1945 - Les Mal Aimés
  • 1948 - Passage du malin
  • 1951 - Le Feu sur terre


  • 1909 - Les Mains jointes
  • 1911 - L'Adieu à l'Adolescence
  • 1925 - Orages
  • 1940 - Le Sang d'Atys


See also

External links

Cultural offices
Preceded by
Eugène Brieux
Seat 22, Académie française
Succeeded by
Julien Green


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

François Charles Mauriac (11 October 18851 September 1970) was a French author; member of the Académie française (1933); laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1952). He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur (1958). He is acknowledged to be one of the greatest Roman Catholic writers of the 20th century.


  • Ce qui fait le poète, n'est-ce pas l'amour, la recherche désespérée du moindre rayon de soleil d'autrefois jouant sur le parquet d'une chambre d'enfant?
    • What makes a poet is, surely, the love of these things, a desperate search for the tiny ray of sunshine which used to flicker on the floor of a child’s bedroom.
    • Préséances (1921), cited from Oeuvres romanesques, vol.1 (Paris: Flammarion, 1965) p. 301; Gerard Hopkins (trans.) Questions of Precedence (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1958) p. 46.
  • Le mythe de Prométhée signifie que toute la tristesse du monde a son siège dans le foie. Mais qui oserait reconnaître une vérité si humble?
    • The myth of Prometheus means that all the sorrows of the world have their seat in the liver. But it needs a brave man to face so humble a truth.
    • Le Nœud de vipères (1932), cited from Oeuvres romanesques, vol. 2 (Paris: Flammarion, 1965) p. 166; Gerard Hopkins (trans.) Knot of Vipers (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1951) p. 151.
  • On atteint aisément une âme vivante à travers les crimes, les vices les plus tristes, mais la vulgarité est infranchissable.
    • One can touch a living soul through a curtain of vice and crime no matter how dense and dark: but vulgarity is an insurmountable barrier.
    • Le Nœud de vipères (1932), cited from Oeuvres romanesques, vol. 2 (Paris: Flammarion, 1965) p. 190; Gerard Hopkins (trans.) Knot of Vipers (Harmondsworth: Penguin, [1951] 1985) p. 193.
  • Presque tous les hommes ressemblent à ces grands palais déserts dont le propriétaire n'habite que quelques pièces; et il ne pénètre jamais dans les ailes condamnées.
    • Most men resemble great deserted palaces: the owner occupies only a few rooms and has closed off wings where he never ventures.
    • Journal, 1932-1939 (Paris: Table ronde, 1947) p. 6; Adrienne Foulke (trans.) Second Thoughts (Plainview, NY: Books for Libraries Press, [1961] 1973) p. 142.
  • Où finit la correction? Où commence le martyre? Dans l'entre-deux, des milliers d'enfants peuplent un enfer qui ne fait pas de bruit.
    • Where does discipline end? Where does cruelty begin? Somewhere between these, thousands of children inhabit a voiceless hell.
    • Journal, 1932-1939 (Paris: Table ronde, 1947) p. 278; Adrienne Foulke (trans.) Second Thoughts (Plainview, NY: Books for Libraries Press, [1961] 1973) p. 148.
  • Il s'en est fallu de très peu que les larmes de Judas ne fussent confondues, dans le souvenir des hommes, avec celles de Pierre. Il aurait pu devenir un saint, le patron de nous tous qui ne cessons de trahir.
    • Very little would have been needed for the tears of Judas to be allied in the memory of mankind with those of Peter. He might have become a saint, the patron of all of us who constantly betray Christ.
    • Vie de Jésus (Paris: Flammarion, 1936) p. 257; Julie Kernan (trans.) Life of Jesus (New York: David McKay, [1937] 1951) p. 223.


  • J’aime tellement l’Allemagne que je suis heureux qu’il y en ait deux.
  • I love Germany so much I'm glad there are two of them. [1]

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