Saturday, July 2, 2016
François Charles Mauriac (1885 –1970) was a French novelist, dramatist, critic, poet, and journalist, a member of the Académie française (from 1933), and laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1952). He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Légion d'honneur in 1958.
Mauriac had a bitter dispute with Albert Camus immediately following the liberation of France in World War II. At that time, Camus edited the resistance paper Combat (thereafter an overt daily, until 1947) while Mauriac wrote a column for Le Figaro. Camus said newly liberated France should purge all Nazi collaborator elements, but Mauriac warned that such disputes should be set aside in the interests of national reconciliation. Mauriac also doubted that justice would be impartial or dispassionate given the emotional turmoil of liberation.
Mauriac was opposed to French rule in Vietnam, and strongly condemned the use of torture by the French army in Algeria. He encouraged Elie Wiesel to write about his experiences as a Jew during the Holocaust, and wrote the foreword to Elie Wiesel's book Night.
He was the father of writer Claude Mauriac and grandfather of Anne Wiazemsky, a French actress and author who worked with and married French director Jean-Luc Godard.