St.-John Perse

St.-John Perse, pseud. of Alexis Saint-Léger Léger, 1887–1975, French poet and diplomat, b. West Indies. Léger, an opponent of appeasement of the Nazis, was enormously influential in France's foreign office and became known as one of Europe's foremost diplomats. His reputation as a poet of great lyric power grew after his self-imposed exile to the United States in 1940. Encouraged by Gide, he published his first poem, "Images à Crusoe," in 1909. His symbolic Éloges (tr. 1944) followed in 1911. For Amitié du Prince (1921) Léger drew upon ancient sacerdotal sources. Anabase (1924, tr. by T. S. Eliot, 1930), a symbolic history of mankind, brought him wide critical attention. Among his later works are Exil (1944, tr. 1949), Vents (1946, tr. Winds, 1953), Amers (1957, tr. Seamarks, 1958), Chroniques (1960, tr. 1961), and Oiseaux (1963, tr. 1966). His writings were published as Oeuvres complètes in 1972. His work has been translated by Auden, Eliot, and MacLeish. Léger was awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Literature.

See studies by A. Knödel (1966), P. Emmanuel (1971), and R. M. Galand (1972).

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

St.-John Perse: Selected full-text books and articles

Seamarks By St.-John Perse; Wallace Fowlie Pantheon books, 1958
Mid-Century French Poets: Selections, Translations, and Critical Notices By Wallace Fowlie Grove Press, 1955
Librarian’s tip: "St.-John Perse" begins on p. 94
A Guide to Contemporary French Literature: From Valery to Sartre By Wallace Fowlie Meridian Books, 1957
Librarian’s tip: "St.-John Perse" begins on p. 245
105 Greatest Living Authors Present the World's Best Stories, Humor, Drama, Biography, History, Essays, Poetry By Whit Burnett Dial Press, 1950
Librarian’s tip: "St. John Perse" begins on p. 731
An Introduction to Caribbean Francophone Writing: Guadeloupe and Martinique By Sam Haigh Berg, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "St.-John Perse" begins on p. 245
Cyclopedia of World Authors By Dayton Kohler; Frank N. Magill Harper & Row, 1958
Librarian’s tip: "St-John Perse" begins on p. 831
Oldest Allies, Guarded Friends: The United States and France since 1940 By Charles G. Cogan Praeger, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Anterior Prejudices" begins on p. 36
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