Desnos, Robert rôbĕr´ dĕsnôs´ [key], 1900–1945, French poet. Among the best-known surrealist poets, he was one of the chief proponents of so-called automatic writing. He put himself in a trance before writing many of his works. They include La Liberté ou l'amour [liberty or love] (1927), Corps et Biens [bodies and blessings] (1930), État de veille [wakefulness] (1943), Contrée [thwarted] (1944), Félix Labisse (1945), and Choix de poems [choice of poems] (1945). He also wrote a novel, Le Vin est tiré [the wine is killed] (1943), and a surrealistic drama, La Place de L'étoile (1945). During World War II, Desnos died as a prisoner in the Theresienstadt concentration camp.
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