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Jean Paulhan
Born: December 02, 1884 in Nimes, France
Died: October 09, 1968 in Melun, France
Other Names: Guérin, Jean
Nationality: French
Occupation: Writer
Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit, MI: Gale, 2006.
Full Text: COPYRIGHT 2018 Gale, a Cengage Company
Updated:Dec. 13, 2006
 
PERSONAL INFORMATION:

Born December 2, 1884, in Nîmes, France; died October 9 (some sources say October 10), 1968, in Melun, France. Education: Sorbonne, University of Paris, licence-ès-lettres, 1907. Military/Wartime Service: Served in French military during World War I; wounded in 1914; involved with the French Underground during World War II.

 
CAREER:

Editor and author. Teacher in Tananarive, Madagascar, c. 1907-11; École des Langues Orientales, Paris, France, professor of Malagasy, 1912; La nouvelle revue française (newspaper), Paris, France, editor, 1925-40, 1953-63; writer for underground newspaper Résistance, 1941-45; cofounder of Les lettres françaises, 1941, and publisher Éditions de Minuit, Paris, beginning 1940s; contributing editor for publisher Gallimard for four decades.

 
AWARDS:

Grand Prix de Littérature, Académie Française, 1945; Grand Prix de la Ville Paris, 1951.

 
WORKS:

WRITINGS:

  • Les hain-tenys mérinas: poésies populaires malgaches, P. Geuthner (Paris, France), 1913, published as Les hain-teny: poésie obscure, Imprimerie de Monaco (Monaco), 1930.
  • Le guerrier appliqué (also see below; title means "The Diligent Warrior"), E. Sansot (Paris, France), 1917.
  • Le pont traversé (title means "The Crossed Bridge"), C. Bloch (Paris, France), 1921.
  • Jacob Cow, le pirate; ou, Si les mots sont des signes (also see below), Au Sans Pareil (Paris, France), 1921.
  • La guérison sévère (title means "The Hard Recovery"), Éditions de la Nouvelle Revue Française (Paris, France), 1925.
  • Expérience du proverbe, Société Générale d'Imprimerie et d'Edition (Paris, France), 1925.
  • Aytré qui perd l'habitude (title means "Aytré Who Loses the Habit"), 1926, reprinted, Spectres Familiers (Le Revest-les-Eaux, France), 1988.
  • Entretiens sur des faits divers, Société des Médecins Bibliophiles (Paris, France), 1930.
  • Le guerrier applicué; Jacob Cow le pirate, 1930, reprinted, Société Coopérative Éditions Rencontre, 1962.
  • Vues sur Napoléon; suivi d'une correspondance, Jean Paulhan et André Suarè, 1933, reprinted, Editions Allia (Paris, France), 1988.
  • (With Léon Bopp and Albert Thibaudet) Historie de la littérature française de 1789 à nos jours, Stock (Paris, France), 1936.
  • (Editor) Albert Thibaudet, Réflexions sur le roman, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1938.
  • Les fleurs de Tarbes; ou, La terreur dans les lettres (essays; title means "The Flowers of Tarbes"), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1941, translation and with introduction by Michael Syrotinski as The Flowers of Tarbes; or, Terror in Literature, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 2005.
  • Salmo-Salar; ou, L'épopée du saumon, Aubier (Paris, France), 1943.
  • Clef de la poésie: qui permet de distinguer le vrai du faux en toute observation ou doctrine touchant la rime, le rythme, le vers, le poète et la poésie (title means "The Key to Poetry"), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1944.
  • Braque le patron (title means "Braque the Master"), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1945.
  • F.F. ou le critique, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1945.
  • Sept causes célèbres, Fontaine (Paris, France), 1945.
  • Sept nouvelles causes célèbres, Éditions de Minuit (Paris, France), 1947.
  • À demain, la poésie (poems; title means "Good-bye until Tomorrow"), Éditions de Clairefontaine (Paris, France), 1947.
  • (With others) Faux en écriture, R. Julliard (Paris, France), 1947.
  • Petit guide d'un voyage en Suisse, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1947.
  • (Editor, with Dominique Aury) La patrie se fait tous les jours, textes français 1939-1945, Éditions de Minuit (Paris, France), 1947.
  • De la paille et du grain, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1948, translated and with introduction by Richard Rand as Of Chaff and Wheat: Writers, War, and Treason, University of Illinois Press (Urbana, IL), 2004.
  • Le berger d'Écosse, Presses du Livre Français (Paris, France), 1948.
  • Fautrier l'enragé (title means "Fautrier the Violent One"), 1949, reprinted, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1989.
  • Trois causes célèbres, L'Enseigne de l'Homme Méditant (Nancy, France), 1950.
  • Les causes célèbres, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1950.
  • Petite préface à toute critique (title means "Short Preface to Any Criticism"), 1951, reprinted Le Temps qu'il Fait (Cognac, France), 1988.
  • Petite préface à toute critique, Éditions de Minuit (Paris, France), 1951.
  • Le marquis de Sade et sa complice; ou, Les revanches de la pudeur, Lilac (Paris, France), 1951.
  • Lettre aux directeurs de la résistance (1951): suivie des répliques et des contre-répliques, Jean-Jacques Pauvert (Paris, France), 1952.
  • L'aveuglette, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1952.
  • La preuve par l'étymologie (title means "Proof of Etymology"), Éditions de Minuit (Paris, France), 1953.
  • La peinture cubiste; ou, L'espace d'avant les raisons, [Paris, France], 1953.
  • Les paroles transparentes, lithographs by Georges Braque, Bibliophiles de l'Union Française (Paris, France), 1955.
  • Oeuvres complètes, seven volumes, Jean-Jacques Pauvert (Paris, France), 1955-61.
  • L'Art informel (title means "Informal Art"), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1962.
  • (Editor, with Léon Bopp) Histoire de la littérature française de 1789 à nos jours, Stock (Paris, France), 1963.
  • Oeuvre complètes, two volumes, Cercle du Livre Précieux (Paris, France), 1966-70.
  • Progrès en amour assez lents, suivis de Lalie, Tchou (Paris, France), 1968, translated by Christine Moneera Laennec and Michael Syrotinski as Progress in Love on the Slow Side, University of Nebraska Press (Lincoln, NE), 1994.
  • Les incertitudes du langage (title means "The Uncertainties of Language"), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1970.
  • Le repas et l'amour chez les Merinas, Fata Morgana (Montpellier, France), 1970.
  • 226 lettres inédites de Jean Paulhan: contribution à l'étude du movement littéraire en France, 1933-1967, edited by Jeannine Kohn-Etiemble, Klincksieck (Paris, France), 1975.
  • Mort de Groethuysen à Luxembourg, Fata Morgana (Montpellier, France), 1976, new edition, 1999.
  • Correspondance Jean Paulhan--Maurice Lemaître sur le lettrisme, two volumes, Centre de Créativité (Paris, France), 1976-80.
  • Traité des tropes, Le Nouveau Commerce (Paris, France), 1977.
  • Correspondence Jean Paulhan, Guillaume de Tarde: 1904-1920, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1980.
  • Correspondance 1953-1967, Calligrammes (Quimper, France), 1982.
  • Jean Paulhan et Madagascar, 1908-1910, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1982.
  • Le guerrier appliqué; Progrès en amour assez lents; Lalie, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1982.
  • Jean Paulhan, Georges Perros: correspondance, 1953-1967, Calligrammes (Quimper, France), 1982.
  • Traité du ravissement, Périple (Paris, France), 1983.
  • Le clair et l'obscur, Temps qu'il Fait (Cognac, France), 1983.
  • Correspondance, 1925-1968, Calligrammes (Quimper, France), 1984.
  • Choix de lettres, three volumes, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1986.
  • Correspondance, two volumes, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1986.
  • (With Francis Ponge) Correspondance, 1923-1968, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1986.
  • (With Malcolm de Chazal) Correspondances avec Jean Paulhan; suivi de, L'unisme, L'Ether Vague (Toulouse, France), 1987.
  • Paul Valéry; ou, La littérature considérée comme un faux, preface by André Berne-Joffroy, Editions Complexe (Brussels, Belgium), 1987.
  • Correspondance Jean Paulhan, André Suarès: 1925-1940, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1987.
  • Le vie est pleine de choses redoutables: textes autobiographiques, edited and with annotations by Claire Paulhan, Seghers (Paris, France), 1989.
  • Correspondance Jean Paulhan--Giuseppe Ungaretti: 1921-1968, edited by Jacqueline Paulhan, Luciano Rebay, and Jean-Charles Vegliante, preface by Luciano Rebay, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1989.
  • Le fruit dans la forêt: textes courts 1904-1910, Seghers (Paris, France), 1990.
  • Rasoutolane: conte malgache, Prat/Europa (Eure-et-Loire, France), 1990.
  • Jean Paulhan, 1884-1968: témoignages, l'oeuvre, langage et pensée, les arts, le rôle: textes inédits, correspondance, bibliographie, La Nouvelle Revue Française (Paris, France), 1991.
  • Correspondance Jean Paulhan-Roger Caillois: 1934-1967, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1991.
  • Chroniques de Jean Guérin (writings originally published under pseudonym Jean Guérin), two volumes, selected and edited by Jean-Philippe Segonds, Editions des Cendres (Paris, France), 1991.
  • Correspondance Saint-John Perse, Jean Paulhan, 1925-1966, edited and with notes by Joëlle Gardes-Tamine, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1991.
  • (With André Suarès) Correspondance: 1940-1948, edited and with preface by Yves-Alain Favre, Rougerie (Mézière-sur-Issoire, France), 1992.
  • Expérience du proverbe, L'Échoppe (Paris, France), 1993.
  • (With Jacques Audiberti) Lettres à Jean Paulhan: 1933-1965, edited by Jeanyves Guérin, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1993.
  • (With Louis Aragon and Elsa Triolet) Le temps traversé: correspondance, 1920-1964, edited by Bernard Leuilliot, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1994.
  • (With Monique Saint-Hélier) Correspondance (1941-1955), edited by José Flore Tappy, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1995.
  • Réponses à deux questionnaires, Editions des Moires (Paris, France), 1995.
  • Correspondance, 1921-1968: enrichie de lettres de Max Brod, Gaston Gallimard, André Gide et Julien Monod, Julliard (Paris, France), 1997.
  • (With André Gide) Correspondance, 1918-1951, edited by Frédéric Grover and Pierrette Schartenberg-Winter, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1998.
  • (With Catherine Pozzi) Correspondance, 1926-1934, edited by Françoise Simonet-Tenant, C. Paulhan (Paris, France), 1999.
  • (With Jacques Chardonne) Correspondance (1928-1962), edited by Caroline Hoctan, Stock (Paris, France), 1999.
  • (With Marcel Arland) Correspondance, 1936-1945, edited by Jean-Jacques Didier, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2000.
  • (With Michel Leiris) Correspondance, 1926-1962, edited by Louis Yvert, C. Paulhan (Paris, France), 2000.
  • (With François Mauriac) Correspondance 1925-1967, edited by John E. Flower, C. Paulhan (Paris, France), 2001.
  • (With Jean Guehenno) Correspondance: 1926-1968, edited by Jean-Kely Paulhan, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2002.
  • (With Jean Dubuffet) Correspondance 1944-1968, edited by Julien Dieudonné and Marianne Jakobi, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2003.
  • (With Paul Eluard) Correspondance 1919-1944, edited by Odile Felgine and Claude-Pierre Pérez, C. Paulhan (Paris, France), 2003.
  • (With Yvon Belaval) Correspondance 1944-1968, edited by Anna-Louise Milne, Gallimard (Paris, France), 2004.

Also author of Réflexions sur le roman, Gallimard. Author of introduction, Les infortunes de la vertu, Editions du Point du Jour, 1946; Oeuvres, by Félix Fénéon, Gallimard, 1948. Author of preface for Poètes d'aujourd'hui, Guide du Livre (Lausanne, Paris), 1947; Histoire d'O, by Pauline Réage, Jean-Jacques Pauvert (Sceaux, France), 1954, translated as The Story of O, Olympia Press (Paris France), 1965; Lettres a Poisson d'Or, by Joë Bousquet, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1967; and Les infortunes de la vertu, by the Marquis de Sade, Gallimard, 1992. Paulhan's works have been translated into several languages, including Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Hebrew, and Japanese.

 

Sidelights

Jean Paulhan was renowned in France as the editor of La nouvelle revue française, both before and after World War II, and for his influential work as an editor for the publishing house Gallimard in Paris. Through his friend Jean-Jacques Pauvert's publishing company, he was also instrumental in bringing to public attention the erotic L'histoire d'O (The Story of O, whose author remained anonymous for many years and some erroneously suspected it was Paulhan). A recipient of the prestigious Grand Prix de Littérature, Paulhan was also an accomplished author in his own right.

Graduating from Paris's Sorbonne in 1907, Paulhan worked first as a teacher in Madagascar. Here, he became fascinated by the native language of Malagasy, and after returning from that island in 1912 he taught the language at the School of Oriental Languages. Leaving teaching behind, Paulhan began an editorial career at the literary periodical La nouvelle revue française in 1925. He built a solid reputation as a talented editor there until the fall of France to Nazi Germany in 1940. While trying to keep a low profile under the Vichy government (he was briefly imprisoned in 1941), Paulhan also aided the French Underground and launched the underground publication Les lettres françaises. He was also a founder, during the war, of the publishing house Éditions de Minuit.

In 1941 Paulhan published one of his most important essay collections, Les fleurs de Tarbes; ou, La terreur dans les lettres (translated as The Flowers of Tarbes; or, Terror in Literature), in which he expounds upon his theories on language and literature. Calling this a "brilliant" work, John Sturrock wrote in the Times Literary Supplement that Paulhan excoriates pretentious writers who try so much to use rare, erudite, and poetic vocabularies that they forget to write more directly and understandably. As Sturrock put it, he "speaks up for clichés and for rhetoric in general, as a set of rules we should do well to reinstate." Paulhan expounded upon this idea later with his follow-up La Preuve par l'étymologie. His commentaries on language and writing are also available in such books as À demain, la poésie, which complains of authors who pursue such techniques as automatic writing, dream expression, and the irrational in an attempt to achieve artistic expression. In opposition to such techniques, which were highly influenced by the painting styles of cubism and surrealism, as well as the writings of Stephane Mallarmé, Paulhan always emphasized clarity and precision of language, both in his fiction and nonfiction.

A few years after the war, Paulhan returned to his original work on La nouvelle revue française, where he remained until retiring in 1963. He became somewhat infamous when he objected to government efforts to persecute French authors who had been Nazi sympathizers, lamenting the loss of literary talent that resulted when a number of such writers were executed, or, as in the case of Drieu la Rochelle, committed suicide. Paulhan felt that their literary contributions were more important than politics. He had made it his lifelong pursuit to understand and use language to unlock the doors of expression. As Peter Fawcett put it in a Times Literary Supplement article, "Paulhan made it his business to try and remove from the path of the writer any obstacles which stood in the way of his creation, and to correct widespread assumptions about the nature of language, which he likened to an optical illusion."

FURTHER READINGS:

FURTHER READINGS ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

BOOKS

  • Encyclopedia of World Literature in the 20th Century, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1999.
  • Paulhan, Jean, Le vie est pleine de choses redoutables: textes autobiographiques, edited and with annotations by Claire Paulhan, Seghers (Paris, France), 1989.

PERIODICALS

  • Publishers Weekly, October 10, 1994, review of Progress in Love on the Slow Side, p. 62.
  • Times Literary Supplement, December 26, 1986, Peter Fawcett, "Greatness through Method," review of Volume 1 of Choix de Lettres, p. 1440; December, 1988, John Sturrock, "Exposing a Primitive Belief," review of La preuve par l'étymologie, p. 1430; October 30, 1992, Douglas Johnson, "A Time for Indifference," review of Volume 2 of Choix de Lettres, p. 13; October, 1997, Mark Hutchinson, "Among the misologues," review of Choix de lettres, pp. 3-4.
  • World Literature Today, spring, 1987, Edouard Morot-Sir, "Correspondence," review of Volume 1 of Choix de lettres, pp. 244-245; summer, 1987, John L. Brown, "Correspondence," review of Correspondance, 1923-1968, p. 420; summer, 1988, John L. Brown, "Correspondance," review of Correspondance Jean Paulhan, André Suarès: 1925-1940, p. 436; autumn, 1990, John L. Brown, review of Correspondance Jean Paulhan--Giuseppe Ungaretti: 1921-1968, pp. 708-709; spring, 1991, John L. Brown, review of Le fruit dans la forêt, p. 273; summer, 1992, John L. Brown, "Correspondence," review of Correspondance Jean Paulhan-Roger Caillois: 1934-1967, pp. 480-481; autumn, 1992, John L. Brown, "Miscellaneous," review of Chroniques de Jean Guérin, p. 687; summer, 1993, John L. Brown, "Correspondance," review of Volume 2 of Choix de lettres, pp. 588-589; summer, 1994, John L. Brown, review of Lettres à Jean Paulhan: 1933-1965, p. 528; winter, 1995, John L. Brown, review of Le temps traversé: correspondance, 1920-1964, p. 97; spring, 1997, John L. Brown, review of Volume 3 of Choix de lettres, p. 347; spring, 1999, John L. Brown, review of Correspondance, 1918-1951, pp. 301-302.*

 
Source Citation   (MLA 8th Edition)
"Jean Paulhan." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2006. Contemporary Authors Online, http%3A%2F%2Flink.galegroup.com%2Fapps%2Fdoc%2FH1000076677%2FCA%3Fu%3Dnaal_talladega%26sid%3DCA%26xid%3Df9b8478a. Accessed 16 Dec. 2018.

Gale Document Number: GALE|H1000076677