From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anatole France (16 April
1844—12 October 1924), born François-Anatole
a French poet, journalist, and novelist. He was born in
Paris, and died in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire.
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
Académie française, and won the Nobel
Prize for Literature.
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 and was frequented
by many notable writers and scholars of the day. Anatole
France studied at the
Collège Stanislas 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.
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
He was elected to the Académie
française in 1896.
France took an important part in the Dreyfus
Affair. He signed Emile
Zola's manifesto supporting Dreyfus, a Jewish army officer who had been
falsely convicted of
espionage. France wrote about the affair in his 1901 novel Monsieur
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."
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. He died in 1924 and is buried in the Neuilly-sur-Seine
community cemetery near Paris.
In the 1920s, France's writings were put on the Index
Librorum Prohibitorum (Prohibited Books Index) of the Roman