Who is Jean Giono? Information on French novelist and dramatist Jean Giono biography, life story, writings and works.
Jean Giono; (1895-1970 ), French novelist and dramatist. Although a regional writer, he developed universal themes—the struggle of man to survive and the eternal instincts of love, friendship, ambition, and revenge.
Giono was born on March 30, 1895, in Manosque, Basses Alpes, which provided the primitive background for most of his works. After serving in World War I and working in a bank, he published epic novels like Le Chant du monde (1934) and pacifist treatises acclaimed by European youth for their glorification of rustic life and excoriation of urban industrialism. He was imprisoned at the outbreak of World War II for pacifist activities and again after the war to protect him, he says, from Communist threats. He was elected to the Concourt Academy in 1954 and died in Manosque on Oct. 8, 1970.
For Colline (1929)—the first work of the Pan trilogy, which included Un de Baumugnes (1929) and Regain (1930)—Giono was hailed by André Gide as a new “Vergil from Provence.” Later, in novels he called “chroniques,” Giono gave up lyrical description for objective observation, character development, and fantastic adventure. His “Hussard” cycle, including Le Hussard sur le toit (1951) and Le Bonheur fou (1957), is reminiscent of Stendhal. His plays include La Femme du boulanger, Lanceurs de graines, and Le Bout de la route (collected 1943).