Montherlant, Henry de

▪ French author
born April 21, 1896, Paris, Fr.
died Sept. 21, 1972, Paris

      French novelist and dramatist whose stylistically concise works reflect his own egocentric and autocratic personality.

      Montherlant was born into a noble Roman Catholic family of Catalan origin. His early works were inspired by his personal experiences: La Relève du matin (1920) evokes the intense inner life of his Catholic schooldays; and Le Songe (1922; The Dream), a semiautobiographical war novel, contrasts masculine courage and self-sacrifice with feminine sentimentality. Les Bestiaires (1926; The Bullfighters), a novel about bullfighting, records his feverish search for the peacetime equivalents of the physical excitement, heroism, and comradeship he had found at the front during his two years of service in World War I.

      Montherlant's major work of fiction is a cycle of four novels that became a succès de scandale. Written for the most part in letters, the tetralogy consists of Les Jeunes Filles and Pitié pour les femmes (both 1936; “The Girls” and “Pity for Women”), Le Démon du bien (1937; “The Demon of Good”), and Les Lépreuses (1939; “The Lepers”). (An English two-volume translation of the tetralogy was entitled The Girls: A Tetralogy of Novels.) This sardonic and misogynistic work describes the relationship between a libertine novelist and his adoring women victims. It exalts the pleasures of the body and of artistic creation while scornfully rejecting feminine possessiveness and sentiment. A similar arrogantly virile outlook marks Montherlant's one other novel of importance, L'Histoire d'Amour de la Rose de Sable (1954; Desert Love); this book is also highly critical of French colonial rule in North Africa.

      After 1942 Montherlant turned to the theatre with the historical drama La Reine morte. The summits of his dramatic production are Malatesta (1946), set in the Italian Renaissance; Le Maître de Santiago (1947), set in the Spanish Golden Age; Port-Royal (1954), a Jansenist drama set in a French convent at the end of the 17th century; La Ville dont le prince est un enfant (1951), set in a French Catholic college of the mid-1930s; and La Guerre civile (1965), set in Caesar's Rome. All are dramas of character whose protagonists strive to hold to their high, sometimes perilously inflated, ideals of themselves. They reveal a preoccupation with pride and self-mastery as well as a dual attraction to sensual pleasure and the more austere forms of Christianity. Montherlant was elected to the French Academy in 1960. Fearing blindness, he died by his own hand.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Montherlant, Henry de — ► (1896 1972) Literato francés. Sus primeras obras están inspiradas en la guerra, el deporte y su experiencia taurina en España: Los bestiarios (1926). Años después escribe una novela de corte realista: Los solteros (1934), y una tetralogía: Las… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Montherlant, Henry Millon de — (1895 1972)    writer    Born in Paris, Henry Millon de Montherlant, a novelist and dramatist, was also an ardent sportsman and nationalist, as well as a sensualist who sought to combine the values of paganism and Christianity. He was known for… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Montherlant, Henry (-Marie-Joseph-Millon) de — born April 21, 1896, Paris, France died Sept. 21, 1972, Paris French novelist and dramatist. Born into a noble family, he wrote stylistically concise works that reflect his own egocentric and autocratic personality. His major work of fiction is a …   Universalium

  • Montherlant, Henry (-Marie-Joseph-Millon) de — (21 abr. 1896, París, Francia–21 sep. 1972, París). Novelista y dramaturgo francés. De familia noble, escribió obras estilísticamente concisas que reflejan su personalidad egocéntrica y autocrática. Su principal obra de ficción es un ciclo de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Montherlant — Montherlant, Henry de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Henry De Montherlant —  Pour la commune, voir Montherlant (Oise). Envoi de Henry de Montherlant Henry de Montherlant, de son nom complet Henry Marie J …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Montherlant — Henry de Montherlant  Pour la commune, voir Montherlant (Oise). Envoi de Henry de Montherlant Henry de Montherlant, de son nom complet Henry Marie J …   Wikipédia en Français

  • MONTHERLANT (H. de) — Pendant cinquante ans de vie littéraire, Montherlant a pris au mot tout ce qu’il sentait, convoitait, sans jamais perdre de vue l’idée de la mort. Ce ne sont pas seulement les êtres qui meurent, c’est la terre qui roule dans le vide. Dès lors, la …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Montherlant — hat folgende Bedeutungen: eine französische Gemeinde, siehe Montherlant (Oise) ein französischer Schriftsteller, siehe Henry de Montherlant …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Montherlant — (Henry Millon de) (1896 1972) écrivain français. Romans: les Bestiaires (1926), les Célibataires (1934), les Jeunes Filles (1936 1939). Théâtre: la Reine morte (1942), etc. Essais: les Olympiques (1924). Il s est suicidé. Acad. fr. (1960) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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