René Crevel (René Crevel)

René Crevel

Author.  A key member of the French Surrealists.  Unlike other members of that group he devoted himself to the novel,  which he sought to liberate from the confines of traditional narrative.  Crevel’s style is darkly witty and volatile,  dreamlike yet consciously controlled. “Putting My Foot in It” (1933), probably his best known book,  is a stinging attack on what he saw as the sterility of post-World War I society.  His other novels are “Detours” (1924),  “My Body and I” (1925),  “Difficult Death” (1926),  “Babylon” (1927),  and “Are You Crazy?” (1929). Crevel was born in Paris.  When he was 14 his father committed suicide,  and the act of self-murder haunted his subsequent life and writings.  From 1920 he was involved with the Dadaists and he was a founding member of the Surrealists in 1924,  though his relationship with leader Andre Breton was typically combative. (His homosexuality – another major theme of his work – was a sticking point for the avowedly homophobic Breton).  In the 1930s he was a communist sympathizer and active in anti-fascist groups.  Hopelessly ill with tuberculosis,  and unable to reconcile the ideology of communism with the Surrealists’ demand for freedom,  Crevel gassed himself to death in his Paris apartment.  He was 34.  His literary reputation was confined to France until translations of his fiction began to appear in the United States in the 1980s. (bio by: Bobb Edwards)

Born

  • August, 10, 1900
  • 00

Died

  • June, 06, 1935

Cemetery

  • Cimetiere de Montrouge
  • France

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