Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Anatole France

Anatole France

Overview
Anatole France (16 April 1844 – 12 October 1924), born François-Anatole Thibault, frɑ̃swa anatɔl tibo, was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire
Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire
Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire is a commune in the department of Indre-et-Loire in central France.It is located northwest of Tours on the other side of the Loire. , the town's population was 15,975. It is the third largest city in the Tours department, behind only Tours and Joué-lès-Tours.-Twin towns — Sister...

. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française
Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of his literary achievements.

The son of a bookseller, France spent most of his life around books.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Anatole France'
Start a new discussion about 'Anatole France'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Quotations

La souffrance! quelle divine méconnu! Nous lui devons tout ce qu'il ya de bon en nous, tout ce qui donne du prix à la vie; nous lui devons la pitié, nous lui devons le courage, nous lui devons toutes les vertus.

Suffering — how divine it is, how misunderstood! We owe to it all that is good in us, all that gives value to life; we owe to it pity, we owe to it courage, we owe to it all the virtues.

En art comme en amour, l'instinct suffit.

In art as in love, instinct is enough.

Ce sont les hommes qui n'aiment pas les femmes qui s'intéressent à la toilette des femmes. Et les hommes qui aiment les femmes ne voient pas seulement comment elles sont habillées.

Only men who are not interested in women are interested in women's clothes. Men who like women never notice what they wear.
Encyclopedia
Anatole France (16 April 1844 – 12 October 1924), born François-Anatole Thibault, frɑ̃swa anatɔl tibo, was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire
Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire
Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire is a commune in the department of Indre-et-Loire in central France.It is located northwest of Tours on the other side of the Loire. , the town's population was 15,975. It is the third largest city in the Tours department, behind only Tours and Joué-lès-Tours.-Twin towns — Sister...

. He was a successful novelist, with several best-sellers. Ironic and skeptical, he was considered in his day the ideal French man of letters. He was a member of the Académie française
Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

, and won the Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of his literary achievements.

Early life


The son of a bookseller, France spent most of his life around books. His father's bookstore, called the Librairie France, specialized in books and papers on the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 and was frequented by many notable writers and scholars of the day. Anatole France studied at the Collège Stanislas
Collège Stanislas de Paris
Le Collège Stanislas de Paris is a private Catholic school in Paris, situated on "Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs" in the Montparnasse arrondissement. It has approximately 3,000 students, and is the largest private school in France....

, a private Catholic school, and after graduation he helped his father by working in his bookstore. After several years he secured the position of cataloguer at Bacheline-Deflorenne and at Lemerre. In 1876 he was appointed librarian for the French Senate.

Literary career


Anatole France began his career as a poet and a journalist. In 1869, Le Parnasse Contemporain published one of his poems, La Part de Madeleine. In 1875, he sat on the committee which was in charge of the third Parnasse Contemporain compilation. He moved Paul Verlaine and Mallarmé aside of this Parnasse. As a journalist, from 1867, he wrote a lot of articles and notices. He became famous with the novel Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard (1881). Its protagonist, skeptical old scholar Sylvester Bonnard, embodied France's own personality. The novel was praised for its elegant prose and won him a prize from the French Academy. In La Rotisserie de la Reine Pedauque (1893) Anatole France ridiculed belief in the occult; and in Les Opinions de Jerome Coignard (1893), France captured the atmosphere of the fin de siècle
Fin de siècle
Fin de siècle is French for "end of the century". The term sometimes encompasses both the closing and onset of an era, as it was felt to be a period of degeneration, but at the same time a period of hope for a new beginning...

.

He was elected to the Académie française in 1896.

France took an important part in the Dreyfus Affair
Dreyfus Affair
The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal that divided France in the 1890s and the early 1900s. It involved the conviction for treason in November 1894 of Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Alsatian Jewish descent...

. He signed Emile Zola
Émile Zola
Émile François Zola was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism...

's manifesto supporting Alfred Dreyfus
Alfred Dreyfus
Alfred Dreyfus was a French artillery officer of Jewish background whose trial and conviction in 1894 on charges of treason became one of the most tense political dramas in modern French and European history...

, a Jewish army officer who had been falsely convicted of espionage
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

. France wrote about the affair in his 1901 novel Monsieur Bergeret.

France's later works include L'Île des Pingouins (1908) which satirizes human nature by depicting the transformation of penguins into humans - after the animals have been baptized in error by the nearsighted Abbot Mael. La Revolte des Anges (1914) is often considered France's most profound novel. It tells the story of Arcade, the guardian angel of Maurice d'Esparvieu. Arcade falls in love, joins the revolutionary movement of angels, and towards the end realizes that the overthrow of God is meaningless unless "in ourselves and in ourselves alone we attack and destroy Ialdabaoth
Demiurge
The demiurge is a concept from the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy for an artisan-like figure responsible for the fashioning and maintenance of the physical universe. The term was subsequently adopted by the Gnostics...

."

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. He died in 1924 and is buried in the Neuilly-sur-Seine community cemetery
Neuilly-sur-Seine community cemetery
The Neuilly-sur-Seine community cemetery in the Hauts-de-Seine département of France is in the western suburbs of Paris, near La Défense.-Notable interments:*René Clair , film director*Pierre Drieu La Rochelle , writer...

 near Paris.

On 31 May 1922, France's entire works were put on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum
Index Librorum Prohibitorum
The Index Librorum Prohibitorum was a list of publications prohibited by the Catholic Church. A first version was promulgated by Pope Paul IV in 1559, and a revised and somewhat relaxed form was authorized at the Council of Trent...

(Prohibited Books Index) of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

. He regarded this as a "distinction". This Index was abolished in 1966.

Poetry

  • Les Légions de Varus, poem published in 1867 in the Gazette rimée.
  • Poèmes dorés (1873)
  • Les Noces corinthiennes (The Bride of Corinth) (1876)

Prose fiction

  • Jocaste et Le Chat maigre (Jocasta and the Famished Cat) (1879)
  • Le Crime de Sylvestre Bonnard (The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard) (1881)
  • Les Désirs de Jean Servien (The Aspirations of Jean Servien) (1882)
  • Abeille (Honey-Bee) (1883)
  • Balthasar (1889)
  • Thaïs
    Thaïs (novel)
    Thaïs is a novel by Anatole France published in 1890. It is based on events in the life of Saint Thaïs of Egypt, a legendary convert to Christianity who is said to have lived in the 4th century...

    (1890)
  • L’Étui de nacre (Mother of Pearl) (1892)
  • La Rôtisserie de la reine Pédauque (At the Sign of the Reine Pédauque) (1892)
  • Les Opinions de Jérôme Coignard (The Opinions of Jerome Coignard) (1893)
  • Le Lys rouge (The Red Lily) (1894)
  • Le Puits de Sainte Claire (The Well of Saint Clare) (1895)
  • L’Histoire contemporaine (A Chronicle of Our Own Times)
    • 1: L’Orme du mail (The Elm-Tree on the Mall)(1897)
    • 2: Le Mannequin d'osier (The Wicker-Work Woman) (1897)
    • 3: L’Anneau d'améthyste (The Amethyst Ring) (1899)
    • 4: Monsieur Bergeret à Paris (Monsieur Bergeret in Paris) (1901)
  • Clio (1900)
  • Histoire comique (A Mummer's Tale) (1903)
  • Sur la pierre blanche (The White Stone) (1905)
  • L'Affaire Crainquebille (1901)
  • L’Île des Pingouins (Penguin Island) (1908)
  • Les Contes de Jacques Tournebroche (The Merrie Tales of Jacques Tournebroche) (1908)
  • Les Sept Femmes de Barbe bleue et autres contes merveilleux (The Seven Wives Of Bluebeard and Other Marvellous Tales) (1909)
  • Les dieux ont soif
    The Gods Are Athirst
    The Gods Are Athirst is a 1912 novel by Anatole France...

    (The Gods Are Athirst) (1912)
  • La Révolte des anges (The Revolt of the Angels) (1914)

Memoirs

  • Le Livre de mon ami (My Friend's Book) (1885)
  • Pierre Nozière (1899)
  • Le Petit Pierre (Little Pierre) (1918)
  • La Vie en fleur (The Bloom of Life) (1922)

Plays

  • Au petit bonheur (1898)
  • Crainquebille (1903)
  • La Comédie de celui qui épousa une femme muette (The Man Who Married A Dumb Wife) (1908)
  • Le Mannequin d'osier (The Wicker Woman) (1928)

Literary criticism

  • Alfred de Vigny (1869)
  • Le Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte (1888)
  • Le Génie Latin (1913)

Social criticism

  • Le Jardin d’Épicure (The Garden of Epicurus) (1895)
  • Opinions sociales (1902)
  • Le Parti noir (1904)
  • Vers les temps meilleurs (1906)
  • Sur la voie glorieuse (1915)
  • Trente ans de vie sociale, in four volumes, (1949, 1953, 1964, 1973)

Famous sayings


  • "We do not know what to do with this short life, but we want another which will be eternal."
  • "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich and the poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." (Le Lys Rouge)
  • "If the path be beautiful, let us not question where it leads."
  • "The history books which contain no lies are extremely tedious."
  • "I prefer the folly of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom."
  • "A person is never happy except at the price of some ignorance."
  • "To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe."
  • "Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom."
  • "Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe."
  • "For every monarchy overthrown the sky becomes less brilliant, because it loses a star. A republic is ugliness set free."
  • "She fought him off vigorously, scratched, cried that she will die before she submits, but the chevalier paid no attention to her words and took her. Afterwards, she smiled coyly and told him: "Do not think, dear chevalier, that you won me against my will. Better thank our good preacher who reminded me that we are mortal, and a pleasure missed today is missed forever. Now we can proceed, for I missed too many pleasures while being too prudent for my own good." (Fable by Anatole France.)
  • " If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing."
  • "Nine tenths of education is encouragement."
  • "All religions breed crime." (Thaïs)
  • "The people who have no weaknesses are terrible: there is no way of taking advantage of them." (The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard)
  • "It is human nature to think wisely and act in an absurd fashion."
  • "The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards."
  • "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • "Stupidity is far more dangerous than evil, for evil takes a break from time to time, stupidity does not."
  • "All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."
  • "We have never heard the devil's side of the story, God wrote all the book."
  • "One must learn to think well before learning to think; afterward it proves too difficult."
  • "An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't."
  • “When a thing has been said and well said, have no scruple; take it and copy it.”

External links