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Romains, Jules

Romains, Jules zhül rômăN´ [key], 1885–1972, French writer, whose original name was Louis Farigoule. A brilliant student of philosophy, he became known as the chief exponent of unanimism, a literary theory positing the collective spirit or personality, e.g., the spirit of a city. This concept pervades an early collection of his poems, La Vie unanime (1908). Romains's principal work is the novel cycle Men of Good Will (27 vol., 1932–46 tr. 14 vol., 1933–46), which gives an intricate and panoramic view of French life from 1908 to 1933. Among his other novels are Mort de quelqu'un (1911 tr. The Death of a Nobody, 1914) and Les Copains (1913 tr. The Boys in the Back Room, 1937). His plays, considered masterpieces of French theater, include Cromedeyre-le-Vieil (1920), in which an isolated village returns to primitive ways, and the satirical farce Knock ou, Le Triomphe de la médecine (1923 tr. Doctor Knock, 1925).

See study by D. Boak (1974).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.