Jean Anouilh , born the June 23rd 1910 with Bordeaux and dead the October 3rd 1987 with Lausanne, is a French writer, author of many plays, of which most famous is Antigone , modern second reading of the part of Sophocle. His/her father is tailor and his mother musician and piano teacher.
Its dramatic workJean Anouilh classified his dramatic work in black parts , pink parts , brilliant parts , parts grinçantes , dressed up parts . The author almost always treats the same topics: the revolt against the richness and the privilege of the birth, the refusal of a world based on hypocrisy and the lie, the desire of absolute, the nostalgia of the lost paradise of childhood, the impossibility of the love, the result in death.
In the black universe of Anouilh, there are two races of men who clash, people for the every day and the heroes .
The many race of the people for the every day includes/understands two rather distinct categories. Initially fantoches, egoists and petty, flat and vulgar, vicious and malicious, happy with themselves and the life; it is, in the majority of the cases, the fathers and the mothers of the heroes. Then, there is the group of people worthy and intelligent, but unable of great aspirations, made for a quiet life, without complications.
the heroes , young people for the majority, also oppose these two many groups, by rejecting common happiness where those take pleasure; but they do not constitute a unit category. Two types can be distinguished: those which have a charged past, from which they seek to escape and those for which the past is identified in the pure world of childhood, that they endeavor to preserve intact. The heroes of Anouilh are unable to get rid of their past. They are cursed , they belong to this past. Prisoners of their past, of their social position, their poverty, they find another exit only the escape or death, especially death.
The black parts Eurydice , Antigone and Médée are resumptions of the known myths, but Anouilh in fact of modern works, where the history does not play any more the first part.
These parts strike as of the beginning by the familiarity of the tone and the spoken style, sometimes vulgar, very far away from the style noble and sought, suitable for the traditional tragedy. At the same time, like its Giraudoux Master, Anouilh uses abundantly of the anachronism: one speaks there about postcards, coffee, bar, cigarettes, rifles, film, cars, races, etc Moreover, the characters wear clothing of the XXe century.
In addition, in Antigone , Anouilh employs for the first time the process of the theater in the theater which it borrows from Pirandello. With the rising of the curtain, all the characters in scene, are isolated or by groups, keep silent themselves or chattering. The Prolog advances towards the public and is put to present them, by briefly indicating their character and their role. The spectator learns as of the beginning what will occur and does not have to wonder any more whether Antigone will die, but how and why.
From 1937, Anouilh opens the series of the pink parts , which it makes alternate with the black parts. They are tasty comedies, where the author lets himself go to his imagination ( the Ball of the Robbers , the Appointment of Senlis , Léocadia ).
In the pink universe of Anouilh, there are two categories of characters: the puppets , which are for the majority of the ridiculous and soft old men and in love - young sincere people who believe in their love.
A special place among the brilliant parts returns to Colombe (1951), because Anouilh takes again its favorite process there: the théàtre in the théàtre.
The race of the heroes reappears in two dressed up parts published after the Release: the Lark and Becket , but one does not find there any more the distressing universe of his first black parts. Jeanne d' Arc and Becket are luminous figures which agree to be sacrificed not for existential reasons, but in the name of the duty: towards the fatherland (Jeanne) or God (Becket).
After the Release, the dramatic production of Anouilh is dominated by the parts grinçantes (since " Ardèle or the Marguerite " until the " Navel "). Its framework of predilection is that of the satirical comedy there, where is driven especially the more or less vulgar race of the people of the every day.
BiographyIt is into 1921 that its love for the theater appeared with the college Chaptal (Paris). it makes studies of right to Paris In 1928, two essential literary meetings intervene: that of Giraudoux with Siegfried and that of Cocteau with grooms of the tower Eiffel .
In 1929, it writes its first part, which did not go, Humulus the dumb man . But it is in 1932 qu ' it writes its first “true part”: Hermine . It then decides to live of its feather, but the beginnings will be hard.
He is its first great success in 1937 with the Voyageur without luggage with the Theater of Mathurins. The actors are Sacha and Ludmilla Pitoëff. Darius Milhaud will write an exquisite incidental music for this part, in the form of continuation for violin, clarinet and piano, (COp 157b).
During the Occupation, Jean Anouilh continues to write. He gives an opinion neither for the Collaboration, nor for the resistance, but publishes nonpolitical texts in the body Collaborationniste I am everywhere and in Aujourd'hui , which will be then reproached to him. Some would have wished that its name be reproduced on the black lists of the purification, but nothing was found against him.
Its more famous part, Antigone , were written in 1942, and were played for the first time in 1944 with the Theater of the Workshop, in a setting in scene, costumes and decorations of André Barsacq.
As much of other events ( Carmen , blue the Danube Beautiful ,…) Antigone is very badly accommodated at the time of its first: nobody applauds; at the end of the part, Anouilh and Barsacq even regret having written and having assembled Antigone, saying that it was “a true catastrophe”; criticism was shared, the part had a strange, ambiguous resonance. Moreover, one evening, of the leaflets of Resistance were distributed, with their agreement.
Anouilh declares, a little later, in a text to save the writer collaborationnist Robert Brasillach (editor association of the body collaborationnist I am everywhere during the Occupation, condemned to dead in February 1945): “ I never, even by far, sympathized with the Nazi S and their sad accomplices, but I acknowledge to have a certain compassion for overcome and fears excesses of purification ”.
In spite of these affronts, Antigone will remain at the top of the chiefs of work of Jean Anouilh.
Anouilh meets a failure at the time of the presentation of the part the Cave in 1961.
Anouilh does not pour in the part with thesis, but diversifies its creations since the fresco until the satire while passing by the tragedy. It places the theatrical play first of all.
He dies in 1987.
- 1932 : Hermine
- 1933: Tangerine
- 1935: Y had a prisoner
- 1937: the Traveller without luggage
- 1938: the Savage
- 1938: the Ball of the robbers
- 1940: Léocadia
- 1941 : the Appointment of Senlis
- 1942: Eurydice
- 1942 : Antigone
- 1946 : Médée
- 1946 : Romeo and Jeannette
- 1947: the Invitation with the castle
- 1947: Mr Vincent , film
- 1948: Ardèle or the Marguerite
- 1950: the Repetition or Love punished
- 1951: Dove
- 1952: the Waltz of the toreadors
- 1952: the Lark
- 1955: Ornifle or the Draft
- 1956: Poor Bitos or the Dinner of heads . In this part it is caught some with the purification.
- 1959 : Becket or Honor of God
- 1959: Hurluberlu or the Reactionary in love
- 1959: Small Molière
- 1961: the Cave
- 1961: the roundtable
- 1962: the Free-for-all
- 1968: the Baker, the baker and the small baker's boy
- 1969: Dear Antoine or Love missed
- 1970: do not awake Madam
- 1970: red Poisson or My father this hero
- 1972: the Director of the Opera
- 1972: You were so nice when you were small
- 1976: the Scenario
- 1976: Expensive zoiseaux
- 1978: the Breeches
- 1981: the Navel
- 1987: Thomas More or the free man
- a biography as well as a bibliography and summaries on the site Biblioweb
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