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Romain Rolland (January 29, 1866 – December 30, 1944) was a French writer. His first book was published in 1902, when he was already 36 years old. Thirteen years later, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature 1915 "as a tribute to the lofty idealism of his literary production and to the sympathy and love of truth with which he has described different types of human beings."
His mind sculpted by a passion for music and hero-worship, he sought a means of communion among men for his entire life. Because of his insistence upon justice and his humanist ideal, he looked for peace during and after the First World War in the works of the philosophers of India ("Conversations with Rabindranath Tagore", and Mohandas Gandhi), then in the new world that the Soviet Union had built. But he would not find peace except in writing his works. Romain Rolland was strongly
Rolland was born in Clamecy, Nièvre to a family of notaries; he had both peasants and wealthy townspeople in his lineage. Writing introspectively in his Voyage intérieur (1942), he sees himself as a representative of an "antique species". He would cast these ancestors in a truculent bawdy tale Colas Breugnon (1919).
Accepted to the École normale supérieure in 1886, he first studied philosophy, but his independence of spirit led him to abandon that so as not to submit to the dominant ideology. He received his degree in history in 1889 and spent two years in Rome, where his encounter with Malwida von Meysenburg – who had been a friend of Nietzsche and of Wagner – and his discovery of Italian masterpieces were decisive for the development of his thought. When he returned to France in 1895, he received his doctoral degree with his thesis The origins of modern lyric theatre and his doctoral dissertation, A History of Opera in Europe before Lully and Scarlatti.
A teacher, a pacifist, and a loner
He became a history teacher at Lycée Henri IV, then at the Lycée Louis le Grand, and member of the École française de Rome, then a professor of the History of Music at the Sorbonne, and History Professor at the École Normale Supérieure.
A demanding, yet timid, young man, he did not like teaching. Not that he was indifferent to the youth: Jean-Christophe, Olivier and their friends – the heroes of his novels – are young people. But with living youths, like adults, Rolland only maintained distant relationships. He was above all a writer. Assured that literature would provide him with a modest income, he resigned from the university in 1912.
Romain Rolland was a lifelong pacifist. He protested against the first World War in Au-dessus de la Mêlée (1915), Above the Battle (Chicago, 1916). In 1924, his book on Gandhi contributed to the Indian nonviolent leader's reputation and the two men met in 1931.
In 1928 he and Hungarian scholar, philosopher and natural living experimenter Edmund Bordeaux Szekely founded the International Biogenic Society to promote and expand on their ideas of the integration of mind, body and spirit and the virtues of a natural, simple, vegetarian lifestyle.
He moved to the shores of Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) to devote himself to writing. His life was interrupted by health problems, and by travels to art exhibitions. His voyage to Moscow (1935), on the invitation of Maxim Gorky, was an opportunity to meet Stalin, whom he considered the greatest man of his time. Rolland served unofficially as ambassador of French artists to the Soviet Union.
In 1937, he came back to live in Vézelay, which, in 1940, was occupied by the Germans. During the occupation, he isolated himself in complete solitude.
Never stopping his work, in 1940, he finished his memoirs. He also placed the finishing touches on his musical research on the life of Ludwig van Beethoven. Shortly before his death, he wrote Péguy (1944), in which he examines religion and socialism through the context of his memories. He died December 30, 1944 in Vézelay.
"If there is one place on the face of the earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India....For more than 30 centuries, the tree of vision, with all its thousand branches and their millions of twigs, has sprung from this torrid land, the burning womb of the Gods. It renews itself tirelessly showing no signs of decay." , Life of Ramakrishna
"The true Vedantic spirit does not start out with a system of preconceived ideas. It possesses absolute liberty and unrivalled courage among religions with regard to the facts to be observed and the diverse hypotheses it has laid down for their coordination. Never having been hampered by a priestly order, each man has been entirely free to search wherever he pleased for the spiritual explanation of the spectacle of the universe." , Life of Vivekananda.
Romain Rolland Bibliography
Year Work Notes 1888 Amour d'enfants 1891 Les Baglioni Unpublished during his lifetime. 1891 Empédocle
Unpublished during his lifetime. 1891 Orsino Unpublished during his lifetime. 1892 Le Dernier Procès de Louis Berquin
(The Last Trial of Louis Berquin)
1895 Les Origines du théâtre lyrique moderne
(The origins of modern lyric theatre)
Academic treatise, which won a prize from the Académie Française 1895 Histoire de l'opéra avant Lully et Scarlatti
(A History of Opera in Europe before Lully and Scarlatti)
Dissertation for his doctorate in Letters 1895 Cur ars picturae apud Italos XVI saeculi deciderit Latin-language thesis on the decline in Italian oil painting in the course of the sixteenth century 1897 Saint-Louis 1897 Aërt Historical/philosophical drama 1898 Les Loups
Historical/philosophical drama 1899 Le Triomphe de la raison
(The Triumph of Reason)
Historical/philosophical drama 1899 Georges Danton Historical/philosophical drama 1900 Le Poison idéaliste 1901 Les Fêtes de Beethoven à Mayence 1902 Le Quatorze Juillet
(July 14 – Bastille Day)
Historical/philosophical drama 1902 François-Millet 1903 Vie de Beethoven
(Life of Beethoven)
Biography 1903 Le temps viendra 1903 Le Théâtre du peuple
1904 La Montespan Historical/philosophical drama 1904 - 1912 Jean-Christophe Cycle of ten volumes divided into three series – Jean-Christophe, Jean-Christophe à Paris, and la Fin du voyage, published by Cahiers de la Quinzaine 1904 L'Aube First volume of the series Jean-Christophe 1904 Le Matin
Second volume of the series Jean-Christophe 1904 L'Adolescent
Third volume of the series Jean-Christophe 1905 La Révolte
Fourth volume of the series Jean-Christophe 1907 Vie de Michel-Ange
(Life of Michelangelo)
Biography 1908 Musiciens d'aujourd'hui
Collection of articles and essays about music 1908 Musiciens d'autrefois
(Musicians of the Past)
Collection of articles and essays about music 1908 La Foire sur la place First volume of the series Jean-Christophe à Paris 1908 Antoinette Second volume of the series Jean-Christophe à Paris 1908 Dans la maison
Third volume of the series Jean-Christophe à Paris 1910 Haendel 1910 Les Amies
First volume of the series la Fin du voyage 1911 La Vie de Tolstoï
(Life of Tolstoy)
Biography 1911 Le Buisson ardent Second volume of the series la Fin du voyage 1912 La Nouvelle Journée Third volume of the series la Fin du voyage 1912 L'Humble Vie héroïque
(The Humble Life of the Hero)
1915 Au-dessus de la mêlée
(Above the Battle)
Pacifist manifesto 1915 Received the Nobel Prize in Literature 1917 Salut à la révolution russe
(Salute to the Russian Revolution)
1918 Pour l'internationale de l'Esprit
(For the International of the Spirit)
1918 L'Âge de la haine
(The Age of Hatred)
1919 Colas Breugnon Burgundian story 1919 Les Précurseurs
1920 Founded the review Europe 1920 Clérambault 1920 Pierre et Luce 1921 Pages choisies
1921 La Révolte des machines
(The Revolt of the Machines)
1922-1933 L'Âme enchantée
(The Enchanted Soul)
Seven volumes 1922 Annette et Sylvie First volume of l'Âme enchantée 1922 Les Vaincus 1924 L'Été
Second volume of l'Âme enchantée 1924 Mahatma Gandhi 1925 Le Jeu de l'amour et de la mort
(The Game of Love and Death)
1926 Pâques fleuries 1927 Mère et fils
(Mother and Child)
Third volume of l'Âme enchantée 1928 Léonides 1928 De l'Héroïque à l'Appassionata
(From the Heroic to the Passionate)
1929 Essai sur la mystique de l'action
(A study of the Mystique of Action)
1929 L'Inde vivante
Essays 1929 Vie de Ramakrishna
(Life of Ramakrishna)
Essays 1930 Vie de Vivekananda
(Life of Vivekananda)
Essays 1930 L'Évangile universel Essays 1930 Goethe et Beethoven Essay 1933 L'Annonciatrice 1935 Quinze Ans de combat 1936 Compagnons de route 1937 Le Chant de la Résurrection
(Song of the Resurrection)
1938 Les Pages immortelles de Rousseau
(The Immortal Pages of Rousseau)
1939 Robespierre Historical/philosophical drama 1942 Le Voyage intérieur
(The Interior Voyage)
1943 La Cathédrale interrompue
(The Interrupted Cathedral)
Volumes I and II 1945 Péguy Posthumous publication 1945 La Cathédrale interrompue Volume III, posthumous
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