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Jean Giraudoux

Jean Giraudoux (zhäN zhērōdōō´), 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).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Jean Giraudoux: His Life and Works
Laurent Le Sage.
Pennsylvania State University, 1959
Plays
Christopher Fry; Jean Giraudoux.
Oxford University Press, vol.1, 1963
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Judith," "Tiger at the Gates," and "Duel of Angels"
The Contemporary French Theatre: The Flight from Naturalism
Joseph Chiari.
Camelot Press, 1958
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Jean Giraudoux"
Dionysus in Paris: A Guide to Contemporary French Theater
Wallace Fowlie.
Meridian Books, 1960
Librarian’s tip: "Approaches to Tragedy: Giraudoux (1882-1944)" begins on p. 59
The Alienated Hero in Modern French Drama
Robert Emmet Jones.
University of Georgia Press, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Chap. V "The Implacable Heroines of Giraudoux"
20th Century French Drama
David I. Grossvogel.
Columbia University Press, 1961
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Perils of Debate: Giraudoux"
The Ways of the World: Comedy and Society
Robert Bechtold Heilman.
University of Washington Press, 1978
Librarian’s tip: "Giraudoux's 'Electra'" begins on p. 116
Tragedy: Modern Essays in Criticism
Laurence Michel; Richard B. Sewall.
Prentice Hall, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "Giraudoux' Tiger at the Gates: A Review" begins on p. 328
Makers of the Modern Theater
Barry Ulanov.
McGraw-Hill, 1961
Literary and Philosophical Essays
Jean-Paul Sartre; Annette Michelson.
Criterion Books, 1955
Librarian’s tip: Chap. III "Jean Giraudoux and the Philosophy of Aristotle"
Louis Jouvet, Man of the Theatre
Bettina Liebowitz Knapp.
Columbia University Press, 1957
Librarian’s tip: "Jouvet and Giraudoux, 1928-1934" begins on p. 126
Marketing Marianne: French Propaganda in America, 1900-1940
Robert J. Young.
Rutgers University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Jean Giraudoux begins on p. 145
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