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Paul Éluard

Paul Éluard
Paul Éluard circa 1930.jpg
Éluard circa 1930
Born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel
(1895-12-14)14 December 1895
Saint-Denis, France
Died 18 November 1952(1952-11-18) (aged 56)
Charenton-le-Pont, France
Occupation Writer
Nationality French
Period 20th century
Genre Poetry
Literary movement Surrealism
Spouse Gala Dalí, Maria Benz (Nusch)

Signature

Paul Éluard (French: [elɥar]), born Eugène Émile Paul Grindel ([ɡʁɛ̃dɛl]; 14 December 1895 – 18 November 1952), was a French poet and one of the founders of the surrealist movement.

Éluard was born in Saint-Denis, Seine-Saint-Denis, France, the son of Eugène Clément Grindel and wife Jeanne-Marie Cousin. His father was an accountant when Paul was born but soon opened a real estate agency. His mother was a seamstress. Around 1908, the family moved to Paris, rue Louis Blanc. Éluard attended the local school in Aulnay-sous-Bois before obtaining a scholarship to attend the Ecole Superieure de Colbert. At the age of 16, he contracted tuberculosis, interrupted his studies, and remained hospitalized until April 1914 in the Clavadel sanatorium near Davos.

There he met a young Russian girl of his age, Helena Diakonova, whom he nicknamed Gala. He confided in her of his dream of becoming a poet, of his admiration for “poets dead of hunger, sizzling dreams” and of his parents’ disapproval. She wrote to him that “you will become a great poet”. They became inseparable. She believed in him and gave him the confidence and encouragement and provided him with the sense of security he needed to write. She listened and was involved in the creation of his verses. She became his muse and the critic, always honest, and told him which images she preferred, which verses she disliked. He was then particularly inspired by Walt Whitman. In Clavadel, Éluard also met the Brazilian poet Manuel Bandeira. They became friends during their hospitalization in the sanatorium, and kept in touch by mail after returning to their respective countries.

In April 1914, Paul Éluard and Gala were both declared healthy again and sent home, to Paris and Moscow respectively. The separation was brutal. Europe was on the brink of war. Paul was mobilised. He passed his physical and was assigned to the auxiliary services because of his poor health. He suffered from migraine, bronchitis, cerebral anaemia and chronic appendicitis and spent most of 1915 under treatment in a military hospital not far from home. Paul’s mother came to visit him and he talked for hours about his beloved, opening his heart to her and slowly rallying her to his cause. Her initial hostility towards Gala slowly faded away, and she started calling her “the little Russian”. However, Paul’s father, who had also been mobilised, remained adamant that she could not come to Paris.



  • Premiers poèmes, 1913
  • Le Devoir, 1916
  • Le Devoir et l'Inquiétude, 1917, (Artist's book with one etching by André Deslignères)
  • "Pour Vivre ici", 1918
  • Les Animaux et leurs hommes, les hommes et leurs animaux, 1920
  • Répétitions, 1922
  • "L'Amoureuse", 1923
  • "La courbe de tes yeux", 1924
  • Mourir de ne pas mourir, 1924
  • Au défaut du silence, 1925
  • "La Dame de carreau", 1926
  • Capitale de la douleur, 1926
  • Les Dessous d'une vie ou la Pyramide humaine, 1926
  • L'Amour la Poésie, 1929
  • Ralentir travaux, 1930, in collaboration with André Breton and René Char
  • À toute épreuve, 1930
  • "L'immaculée conception", 1930
  • Défense de savoir, 1932
  • La Vie immédiate, 1932
  • La Rose publique, 1934
  • Facile, 1935
  • Les Yeux fertiles, 1936
  • Quelques-uns des mots qui jusqu'ici m'étaient mystérieusement interdits, 1937
  • L'Évidence Poétique Habitude de la Poésie, 1937
  • "Les Mains libres" in collaboration with Man Ray, 1938
  • Cours naturel, 1938
  • "La victoire de Guernica" 1938
  • Donner à voir, 1939
  • "Je ne suis pas seul", 1939
  • "Le Livre ouvert" 1941
  • Poésie et vérité 1942, 1942
  • Liberté, 1942
  • Avis, 1943
  • "Courage", 1943
  • Les Sept poèmes d'amour en guerre, 1943
  • Au rendez-vous allemand, 1944
  • Poésie ininterrompue, 1946
  • Le Cinquième Poème visible, 1947
  • Notre vie, 1947
  • À l'intérieur de la vue, 1947
  • La Courbe de tes yeux, 1947
  • Le temps déborde, 1947
  • Ode à Staline, 1950
  • Le Phénix, 1951
  • Picasso, dessins, 1952
  • Buckley, C. (translator) (1995). Shadows and Sun/Ombres et Soleil: Poems and Prose (1913–1952) by Paul Eluard./Ombres et Soleil: Poems and Prose (1913–1952) by Paul Éluard. Durham, NH: Oyster River Press, .
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