François Mauriac  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



François Mauriac (October 11, 1885September 1, 1970) was a French author, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is acknowledged to be one of the greatest Roman Catholic writers of the 20th century.


He was born François Charles Mauriac in Bordeaux, France. He studied literature at the University of Bordeaux, graduating in 1905, after which he moved to Paris to prepare for postgraduate study at the École des Chartes. He was opposed the rule in Vietnam, and strongly condemned the use of torture by the French army in Algeria. He also published a series of personal memoirs and a biography of Charles de Gaulle.

In 1952, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur in 1958. Mauriac's complete works were published in twelve volumes between 1950 and 1956. He also encouraged Elie Wiesel to write about his experiences as a Jew during the Holocaust.

Mauriac had a bitter public dispute with Roger Peyrefitte, who criticised the Vatican in books such as Les Clés de saint Pierre (1953). Mauriac threatened to resign from the paper he was working with at the time (L'Express) if they did not stop carrying advertisements for Peyrefitte's books. The quarrel was exacerbated by the release of the film adaption of Peyrefitte's Les Amitiés Particulières and culminated in a virulent open letter by Peyrefitte in which he revealed Mauriac's private life and called him a Tartuffe.

Mauriac also had a bitter dispute with Albert Camus immediately following the liberation of France in World War II. At that time, Camus edited the resistance paper (now an overt daily) Combat while Mauriac wrote a column for Le Figaro. As Camus argued for the need for newly liberated France to purge all elements associated with collaboration with the Nazis, Mauriac warned that such disputes should be set aside in the interests of national reconcilation. Mauriac also doubted how impartial or dispassionate justice could be given the emotional turmoil of liberation. Years later, in a speech before Catholic monks, Camus--reflecting on the then well-known excesses of the post-liberation purge--would admit that Mauriac had been right in his warnings and caution on this matter.

François Mauriac died in Paris on September 1, 1970 and was interred in the Cimetière de Vemars, Val d'Oise, France.

He was the grandfather of Anne Wiazemsky, a French actress who worked with and married French director Jean-Luc Godard.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "François Mauriac" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools