Romain Rolland

Romain Rolland (rômăN´ rôläN´), 1866–1944, French novelist, biographer, playwright, and musicologist. After studying in Paris he spent two crucial years in Rome, where he was influenced by German intellectuals. He wrote biographies of Beethoven (1903, tr. 1909), Michelangelo (1905, tr. 1915), Tolstoy (1911, tr. 1911), and Mahatma Gandhi (1924, tr. 1924). His 10-volume novel Jean-Christophe (1904–12, tr. 1910–13), established his reputation in the literary world. An example of the roman-fleuve, or continuous series of novels, it is a fictional biography of a German-born musician and a study of contemporary French and German civilization. Rolland was awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize in Literature. His genuine pacifistic philosophy and the courage of his convictions, reflected in Above the Battle (1915, tr. 1916), led to self-imposed exile in Switzerland, where he remained until 1938. Among his other works are the play The Wolves (1898, tr. 1937), inspired by the Dreyfus Affair; the seven-volume novel The Soul Enchanted (1922–33, tr. 1925–34); and a biography (1945) of Péguy. Journey Within (2d ed. 1959, tr. 1947) and Mémoires (1956) are autobiographical.

See biography by W. T. Starr (1972); study by H. March (1973).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Romain Rolland: Selected full-text books and articles

Romain Rolland By R. A. Francis Berg, 1999
FREE! Above the Battle By Romain Rolland; C. K. Ogden Open Court Publishing Company, 1916 (2nd edition)
Journey Within By Romain Rolland; Elsie Pell Philosophical Library, 1947
French Thought in the Eighteenth Century: Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot By Romain Rolland; Andre Maurois; Edouard Herriot David McKay, 1953
Goethe and Beethoven By Romain Rolland; G. A. Pfister; E. S. Kemp Harper & Brothers, 1931
The Music Lover's Handbook By Elie Siegmeister William Morrow, 1943
Librarian’s tip: "Georg Friedrich Handel" by Romain Rolland begins on p. 347 and "Ludwig van Beethoven" by Romain Rolland begins on p. 409
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