Paul Éluard

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Paul Éluard
Paul Éluard circa 1930.jpg
Éluard circa 1930
Born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel
(1895-12-14)14 December 1895
Saint-Denis, France
Died 26 November 1952(1952-11-26)
Charenton-le-Pont, France
Pen name Paul Éluard
Occupation Writer
Nationality French
Period 20th century
Genres Poetry
Literary movement Surrealism
Spouse(s) Gala Dalí, Maria Benz (Nusch)

Signature

Paul Éluard (French pronunciation: ​[elɥar]), born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel ([ɡʁɛ̃dɛl]; 14 December 1895 – 26 November 1952), was a French poet who was one of the founders of the surrealist movement.

Biography[edit]

Éluard was born in Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, France, the son of Clément Grindel and wife Jeanne Cousin. At age 16 he contracted tuberculosis and interrupted his studies. He met Gala, born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, whom he married in 1917, in the Swiss sanatorium of Davos. Together they had a daughter named Cécile. Around this time Éluard wrote his first poems. He was particularly inspired by Walt Whitman[citation needed]. In 1918, Jean Paulhan “discovered” him and introduced him to André Breton and Louis Aragon. After collaborating with German Dadaist Max Ernst, who had entered France illegally, in 1921, he entered into a menage a trois living arrangement with Gala and Ernst in 1922.

After a marital crisis, he traveled, returning to France in 1924. Éluard's writings of this period reflect his tumultuous experiences. In 1929 he had another bout of tuberculosis and separated from Gala when she left him for Salvador Dalí, with whom she remained for the rest of her life.

In 1934, he married Nusch (Maria Benz), a model who was considered somewhat of a mascot of the surrealist movement, whom Éluard had met through his friends Man Ray and Pablo Picasso. During World War II, he was involved in the French Resistance, during which time he wrote Liberty (1942), Les sept poèmes d'amour en guerre (1944) and En avril 1944: Paris respirait encore! (1945, illustrated by Jean Hugo).

He joined the French Communist Party in 1942,[1] which led to his break from the Surrealists[citation needed], and he later eulogised Joseph Stalin in his political writings. Milan Kundera has recalled he was shocked when he heard of Éluard's public approval of the hanging of Éluard's friend, the Prague writer Zavis Kalandra in 1950.[2]

Later life[edit]

Grave of surrealist Paul Éluard

His grief at the premature death of his wife Nusch in 1946 inspired the work "Le temps déborde" in 1947. The principles of peace, self-government, and liberty became his new passion. He was a member of the Congress of Intellectuals for Peace in Wrocław in 1948, which he persuaded Pablo Picasso to participate in.

Éluard met his last wife, Dominique Laure, at the Congress of Peace in Mexico in 1949. They married in 1951. He dedicated his work The Phoenix to her.

Paul Éluard died from a heart attack in November 1952. His funeral was held in Charenton-le-Pont, and organized by the Communist Party.

He is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery.


Works[edit]

  • Premiers poèmes, 1913
  • Le Devoir, 1916
  • Le Devoir et l'Inquiétude, 1917, (Artist's book with one etching by André Deslignères)
  • Les Animaux et leurs hommes, les hommes et leurs animaux, 1920
  • Mourir de ne pas mourir, 1924
  • Au défaut du silence, 1925
  • Capitale de la douleur, 1926
  • Les Dessous d'une vie ou la Pyramide humaine, 1926
  • L'Amour la Poésie, 1929
  • Ralentir travaux, 1930, in collaboration with André Breton and René Char
  • À toute épreuve, 1930
  • Défense de savoir, 1932
  • La Vie immédiate, 1932
  • La Rose publique, 1934
  • Facile, 1935
  • Les Yeux fertiles, 1936
  • Quelques-uns des mots qui jusqu'ici m'étaient mystérieusement interdits, 1937
  • Cours naturel, 1938
  • Donner à voir, 1939
  • Poésie et vérité 1942, 1942
  • Liberté, 1942
  • Avis, 1943
  • Les Sept poèmes d'amour en guerre, 1943
  • Au rendez-vous allemand, 1944
  • Poésie ininterrompue, 1946
  • Le Cinquième Poème visible, 1947
  • Notre vie, 1947
  • À l'intérieur de la vue, 1947
  • La Courbe de tes yeux, 1947
  • Le temps déborde, 1947
  • Ode à Staline, 1950
  • Le Phénix, 1951
  • Picasso, dessins, 1952

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Poetry is another of those values unassailable in our society. I was shocked when, in 1950, the great French Communist poet Paul Eluard publicly approved the hanging of his friend, the Prague writer, Zavis Kalandra. When Brezhnev sends tanks to massacre the Afghans, it is terrible, but it is, so to say, normal - it is to be expected. When a great poet praises an execution, it is a blow that shatters our whole image of the world." Carlisle, Olga. "A TALK WITH MILAN KUNDERA". Retrieved 7 January 2014. 

External links[edit]