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Marie-Magdeleine worked the night shifts in the music-hall orchestras and sometimes accompanied stage presentations, affording Anouilh ample opportunity to absorb the dramatic performances from backstage. He often attended rehearsals and solicited the resident authors to let him read scripts until bedtime. He first tried his hand at playwriting here, at the age of 12, though his earliest works do not survive. Jean-Louis Barrault , later a major French director, was a pupil there at the same time and recalls Anouilh as an intense, rather dandified figure who hardly noticed a boy some two years younger than himself.
He liked the work, and spoke more than once with wry approval of the lessons in the classical virtues of brevity and precision of language he learned while drafting advertising copy. Supported by only his meager conscription salary, Anouilh married the actress Monelle Valentin in She allegedly had multiple extramarital affairs, which caused Anouilh much pain and suffering.
The infidelity weighed heavily on the dramatist as a result of the uncertainty about his own parentage. According to Caroline, Anouilh had learned that his mother had had a lover at the theatre in Arcachon who was actually his biological father.
In spite of this, Anouilh and Valentin had a daughter, Catherine, in who followed the pair into theatre work at an early age. Determined to break into writing full-time, he began to write comic scenes for the cinema to supplement their income. Giraudoux was an inspiration to Anouilh and, with the encouragement of the acclaimed playwright, he began writing again in Before the end of the year he made his theatrical debut with Humulus le muet, a collaborative project with Jean Aurenche.
In subsequent years, there was rarely a season in Paris that did not prominently feature a new Anouilh play and many of these were also being exported to England and America. With protagonists who asserted their independence from the fated past, themes during this period are more closely related to the existential concerns of such writers as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. The most famous play of this group is Antigone, which "established Anouilh as a leading dramatist, not only because of the power with which he drew the classic confrontation between the uncompromising Antigone and the politically expedient Creon, but also because French theatre-goers under the occupation read the play as a contemporary political parable.
Anouilh himself grouped his plays of this period on the basis of their dominant tone, publishing his later works in collected volumes to reflect what he felt "represented the phases of his evolution and loosely resembled the distinction between comedy and tragedy. This category typically featured "young, idealistic, and uncompromising protagonists [who] are able to maintain their integrity only by choosing death. So classified because they share historical "costumed" settings, Anouilh also specifies that these plays must also prominently feature an enlightened protagonist seeking "a moral path in a world of corruption and manipulation.
He served in the military during at least two periods, having been drafted into the French Army in and He was a prisoner of war for a short time when the Germans conquered France and willingly lived and worked in Paris during the subsequent German occupation. In the mids Anouilh and several other intellectuals signed a petition for clemency to save the writer Robert Brasillach , who was condemned to death for being a Nazi collaborator.
Brasillach was executed by firing squad in February , despite the outcry from Anouilh and his peers that the new government had no right to persecute individuals for "intellectual crimes" in the absence of military or political action. The rest of my life, as long as God wills it, will remain my personal business, and I will withhold the details of it. For instance Antigone, provides an allegorical representation of the debate between the idealistic members of the French Resistance and the pragmatism of the collaborationists.
Though many have read the play as having a strong anti-Nazi sentiment, the fact that the Vichy Regime allowed the piece to be performed without censure testifies to the fact that it was potentially seen as supportive of the occupation in its time. In , the Nobel Records were opened after 50 years and it was revealed that Anouilh was among a shortlist of authors considered for the Nobel Prize in Literature , along with John Steinbeck winner , Robert Graves , Lawrence Durrell and Karen Blixen.
However, his repertoire remained unusually confined to theatre and film. There is little to no "middle ground of ambiguity" that exists where this conflict asserts itself.
This checkered past is invariably at odds with the near-angelic behavior that he now exhibits, and recognition of this truth forces him to leave his former identity behind, unable to reconcile the two sides of himself.
In denouncing his past, Gaston reclasses his freedom as an illusion, but one of his own making. He befriends a young English boy and shows him his identifying scar; this gesture allows the boy to describe Gaston to the authorities, thereby claiming him as kin.
With a new life and a new family, Gaston has a fresh start. One has to rely on the people who pay for their places; the people who support the theater are bourgeois. But this public has changed: They have such a terror of not being in touch, of missing out on a fashionable event that they no longer exist as a decisive force.
I think the public has lost its head. My plays are not hermetic enough. In the s Anouilh reinvented himself as a director, staging his own plays as well as those of other authors. He died of a heart attack in Lausanne, Switzerland on 3 October
ANOUILH EURYDICE PDF
Clara Hassler rated it really liked it May 24, Eurydice is the daughter of the leading actress in a second-rate acting troupe. Anouilh — not the French for boredom after all — Telegraph We currently support the following browsers: Under yet another title, Legend of Lovers, Eurydice opened at the Plymouth Theater using the same Kitty Black translation of the piece. But what gives the play extra poignancy is that, although set in the 30s, it was written during the Occupation: Eurydice found a welcome audience with the English, and the production achieved similar success as it had in Paris. Someoneyouknow rated it really liked it Dec 08, Anouilh joins Cocteau, Giraudoux and Sartre at the head of a large group of French dramatists who used Greek themes in this way from the s onwards. He struggled through years of poverty producing several plays until he eventually wound up as secretary to the great actor-director Louis Jouvet. He was survived by his second wife, and four children — one of who is an actress.