Jean Giraudoux: His Life and Works

Jean Giraudoux: His Life and Works

Jean Giraudoux: His Life and Works

Jean Giraudoux: His Life and Works

Excerpt

In an age when writers, mindful of posterity and the curiosity of their readers, leave abundant records of their problems and preoccupations, the case of Jean Giraudoux is unusual. No journal, no correspondence, no confession. Sartre's thought that "cet écrivain si discret et qui s'efface devant ses fictions" might one day speak to us directly of himself was never realized. Perhaps he might have if he had lived longer. But nothing in the miscellaneous papers he left indicates a serious intention to do so, and one might say that, in regard to his personal life, Jean Giraudoux wished to leave the earth without having trod so heavily as to leave a mark.

To trace his life and career we have recourse only to his works, which confuse the pedestrian researcher by their polite ambiguity and jovial blending of fact and fancy; to scanty records; and to the reminiscences of friends and colleagues, whose testimony cannot always be taken at face value. These sources, for want of autobiographical papers, have to suffice at present. It may be expected that as time passes new documents will be brought to light, and more persons close to Giraudoux will be willing to share with the public their intimate knowledge of the man. As such material gradually becomes available, biographers will correct and amplify the presentation they find here.

Notes to Chapter 1 begin on page 211 .

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