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François Mauriac

Biography

François Mauriac was born in Bordeaux in 1885. His father, a banker, died two years later and the family went to live with Mauriac’s maternal grandmother. He planned to go to the Ecole des Chartes. He failed the first exam but passed six months later but gave up the idea to devote himself to literature after his first book of poetry was published. It had some success and was praised by Barrès. He started writing novels soon after, with his first published in 1913. In World War I he was rejected for service because of a physical disability but served in a Red Cross hospital in Salonica. Though having political interests – he was a socialist Christian – he devoted much of his early life to his novels. He was concerned very much with issues of faith and the temptations of the flesh as well as the idea that everybody has to cross a spiritual desert to find true redemption.

His political feelings came to the fore with the Spanish Civil War. He initially supported Franco, as defender of the faith, but then joined with other left-wing Catholics in supporting the republicans. Similarly, in World War II, he initially supported Pétain but soon became a de Gaulle supporter. He would later write a biography of de Gaulle. In 1952, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. He would continue to write novels but also to take political positions. For example, he favoured Algerian independence. He died in 1970. A book published after his death alleged that he had had numerous homosexual affairs.

Books about François Mauriac

Robert Speaight: François Mauriac: A Study of the Writer and the Man
Edward Welch: François Mauriac: The Making of an Intellectual

Other sites

François Mauriac
François Mauriac
Interview
François Mauriac (in French)
François Mauriac 1885-1970 (in French)
François Mauriac, grand écrivain et poète français, membre de l’Académie Française (in French)
Le mystère Mauriac (in French)
Centre François Mauriac (in French)
Vémars (his house – in French)

Bibliography

1909 Les Mains jointes (poetry)
1911 L’Adieu à l’Adolescence (poetry)
1913 L’Enfant chargé de chaînes (Young Man in Chains) (novel)
1914 La Robe prétexte (The Stuff of Youth) (novel)
1920 La Chair et le Sang (Flesh and Blood) (novel)
1920 De quelques coeurs inquiets: Petits essais de psychologie (essays)
1921 Préséances (Questions of Precedence) (novel)
1922 Le Baiser au lépreux (A Kiss for the Leper) (novel)
1923 Génitrix (Genitrix) (novel)
1923 Le Fleuve de feu (The River of Fire) (novel)
1924 La Vie et la mort d’un poète (memoirs)
1925 Le Désert de l’amour (The Desert of Love) (novel)
1925 Orages (poetry)
1926 Bordeaux (earlier version of Commencements d’une vie) (autobiography)
1926 Fabien (later: Le Mal) (The Enemy) (novel)
1926 Les Beaux esprits de ce temps (literature)
1926 Le Tourment de Jacques Rivière (literature)
1926 Le Jeune homme (essay)
1926 La Province (essay)
1926 Proust (literature)
1926 La Rencontre avec Pascal suivi de L’Isolement de Barrès (literature)
1927 Thérèse Desqueyroux (Therese; later: Therese Desqueyroux) (novel)
1928 Destins (Destinies; later: Lines of Life) (novel)
1928 La Vie de Jean Racine (biography)
1928 Le Roman (literature)
1928 Dramaturges (literature)
1928 Supplément au Traité de la concupiscence de Bossuet (religion)
1928 Divagations sur Saint-Sulpice (religion)
1928 Souffrances du chrétien (religion)
1929 Voltaire contre Pascal (literature)
1929 Bonheur du chrétien (religion)
1929 Dieu et Mammon (God and Mammon) (religion)
1929 Trois Récits (stories)
1929 La nuit du bourreau de soi-même (story)
1929 Mes plus lointains souvenirs (memoirs)
1930 Trois grands hommes devant Dieu (literature)
1930 Ce qui était perdu (That Which Was Lost) (novel)
1931 Blaise Pascal et sa soeur Jacqueline (biography)
1931 Souffrances et bonheur du chrétien (religion)
1931 Le Jeudi-saint (Maundy Thursday; later: Holy Thursday: An Intimate Remembrance) (religion)
1931 René Bazin (literature)
1932 Commencements d’une vie (autobiography)
1932 Pèlerins de Lourdes (religion)
1932 Le noeud de vipères (Vipers’ Tangle; later: The Knot of Vipers) (novel)
1933 Le Mystère Frontenac (UK: The Frontenac Mystery; US: The Frontenacs) (novel)
1933 Le Romancier et ses personnages (literature)
1933 Petits essais de psychologie religieuse (essays)
1934-1953 Journal, Vols. 1-4
1935 La Fin de la nuit (The End of the Night) (novel)
1936 La Vie de Jésus (religion)
1936 Les Anges noirs (The Dark Angels) (novel)
1938 Asmodée (Asmodee or The Intruder) (drama)
1938 Plongées (stories)
1938 L’Homme et le péché (essay)
1939 Les Chemins de la mer (The Unknown Sea) (novel)
1939 Les Maisons fugitives (memoirs)
1940 Le Sang d’Atys (poetry)
1940 Lacordaire et nous (religion)
1941 La Pharisienne (A Woman of the Pharisees) (novel)
1943 Le Cahier noir (as Forez) (The Black Note Book) (memoirs)
1943 La Nation française a une âme (essay)
1944 Ne pas se renier (essay)
1944 Les Arbres et les pierres (literature)
1945 La Trahison d’un clerc (literature)
1945 La Rencontre avec Barrès (literature)
1945 Les Mal Aimés (drama)
1945 Le Bäillon dénoué après quatre ans de silence (essay)
1945 Sainte Marguerite de Cortone (UK: Margaret of Cortona; US: Saint Margaret of Cortona,) (religion)
1947 Du côté de chez Proust (literature)
1947 Les Pages immortelles de Pascal (literature)
1948 La Paix des cîmes: chroniques-1955, 2000 (chronicles)
1948 Passage du malin (drama)
1949 Mes grands hommes (Men I Hold Great) (biography)
1950 Terres franciscaines (religion)
1951 Le Feu sur terre (drama)
1951 Le Sagouin (UK: The Little Misery; US: The Weakling) (novel)
1951 La pierre d’achoppement (The Stumbling Block) (religion)
1952 Galigaï (The Loved and the Unloved) (novel)
1952 La mort d’André Gide (literature)
1952 Lettres ouvertes (Letters on Art and Literature) (art/literature)
1953 Écrits intimes (autobiography)
1954 L’Agneau (The Lamb) (novel)
1955 Paroles catholiques(Words of Faith) (religion)
1958 Bloc-notes, 1952-1957 (articles)
1959 Mémoires intérieurs (Mémoires interieurs) (memoirs)
1960 Le Fils de l’homme (The Son of Man) (religion)
1961 Le nouveau bloc-notes, 1958-1960 (articles)
1961 Second Thoughts: Reflections on Literature and on Life (selected writings)
1962 Cain, Where Is Your Brother? (selected writings)
1962 Ce que je crois (What I Believe) (memoirs)
1964 De Gaulle (De Gaulle) (biography)
1964 Nouveaux mémoires intérieurs (The Inner Presence; later: More Reflections from the Soul) (memoirs)
1966 D’autres et moi (selected writings)
1967 Mémoires politiques (memoirs)
1968 Le Nouveau bloc-notes, 1961-1964 (articles)
1969 Un adolescent d’autrefois (Maltaverne (Un adolescent d’autrefois) (novel)
1970 Le Nouveau bloc-notes, 1965-1967 (articles)
1971 Le Dernier bloc-notes, 1968-1970 (articles)
1972 Maltaverne (note this is an unfinished sequel to the above) (novel)
1981 Souvenirs retrouvés. Entretiens avec Jean Amrouche (conversations)
1981 Lettres d’une vie (1904-1969) (letters)
1993 Bloc-notes, Paris (articles)
1996 Mozart et autres écrits sur la musique (music)
1999 La Paix des cimes: chroniques 1948-1955 (articles)
2004 D’un Bloc-notes à l’autre: 1952-1969 (articles)
2008 On n’est jamais sûr de rien avec la télévision: chroniques 1959-1964 (articles)
2008 Journal Mémoires Politiques (journal)