Friday, April 29, 2011

Paul Eluard

Paul Éluard was the pen name of Eugène Émile Paul Grindel (14 December 1895 – 18 November 1952), a French poet who was one of the founders of the surrealist movement.
He was born in Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, just outside of Paris, son of Clément Grindel and wife Jeanne Cousin. At age 16, after a happy childhood, Éluard contracted tuberculosis and interrupted his studies. He met Gala, born Elena Ivanovna Diakonova, whom he married in 1917, in the Swiss sanatorium of Davos.
 (Gala Dalí (7 September [O.S. 26 August] 1894 – June 10, 1982), usually known simply as Gala, was the wife of first Paul Éluard, then Salvador Dalí, and an inspiration for them and many other writers and artists.)
Salvador DalíPortrait of Galerina, (1940–45)
 Together they had a daughter named Cécile. Around this time Éluard wrote his first poems. He was particularly inspired by Walt Whitman. In 1918, Jean Paulhan “discovered” him and introduced him toAndré Breton and Louis Aragon. This was his introduction to the Surrealist movement. After having collaborated earlier with German DadaistMax Ernst in 1921, in 1922 Ernst entered France illegally and entered into a menage a trois living arrangement with Éluard and Gala.
After a marital crisis, he travelled, returning to France in 1924. Éluard's writings of this period reflect his tumultuous experiences: he had another bout of tuberculosis and separated from Gala when she left him for Salvador Dalí.
Dalí in the 1960s wearing the flamboyant mustache style he popularized.
In 1934, he married Nusch (Maria Benz), a model and a friend of his friends Man Ray and Pablo Picasso, who was considered somewhat of a mascot of the surrealist movement. During World War II, he was involved in the French Resistance. He battled also with his poems, such as his 1942 poemLiberty and Les sept poèmes d'amour en guerre (1944). His work was quite militant, yet simple.

Nusch (Maria Benz),
He joined the French Communist Party in 1942,[1] which led to his break from the Surrealists, and he later eulogised Joseph Stalin in his political writings. Milan Kundera has recalled he was shocked when he heard of Éluard's public approval of the hanging of Éluard's friend, the Prague writer Zavis Kalandra in 1950.

Later life

Grave of surrealist Paul Éluard
His grief at the premature death of his wife Nusch in 1946 inspired the work "Le temps déborde" in 1947. The principles of peace, self-government, and liberty became his new passion. He was part of the Congress of Intellectuals for Peace in Wrocław in 1948, and persuaded Pablo Picasso to also participate.
Éluard met his last wife, Dominique Laure, at the Congress of Peace in Mexico in 1949, and they married in 1951. He dedicated his work The Phoenix to her.
Paul Éluard died from a heart attack in November 1952. His funeral was held in Charenton-le-Pont, and organized by the Communist Party. Picasso was seated next to Dominique. "In fact," she said later, "it was Éluard who was a friend to Picasso, and the other way around only to the extent that Picasso was capable of friendship."[3]
He is buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery.

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