(1897 - 1982) French novelist, poet, and essayist. After brief associations with cubism and dada, Aragon was attracted to the freedom of expression in surrealism and under its influence wrote Le Paysan de Paris (1926, translated as Nightwalker, 1970). He soon broke with this movement, however, criticizing the ideal of " pure poetry " in Traite du style (1928), and became a Communist in 1930, thereafter to devote his art to the ideal of social revolution. He was prosecuted for his poem The Red Front (1931), but responded with more poetry -- Persecuteur persacute (1931) and Hourra l ' Oural (1934) -- and with contributions to leftist magazines. His social novels depicting " the real world, " as the series is collectively titled, include: Les Cloches de Bale (1934; translated as The Bells of Basel, 1936), Les Beaux Quartiers, (1936; translated as Residential Quarters, 1938), and Les Voyageurs de l ' imperiale (1941; translated as The Century Was Young, 1941). Aurelien (1944) and Les Communistes (1949) are autobiographical. Aragon abandoned current politics, however, in La Semaine sainte (1958; translated as Holy Week, 1961), a panoramic epic of the flight of Louis XVIII at the beginning of Napoleon's one hundred days in 1815.
His other books of poetry include Le Creve -coeur (1941), Les Yeux d'Elsa (1942), Broceliande (1942), and Le Nouveau Creve - coeur (1948). Many of these poems describe his participation in the Resistance and his love for his Russian - born wife, the writer Elsa Triolet. L ' Oeuvre poetique (7 vols) was published in 1974. Chroniques de la pluie et du beau temps (1979) is a collection of his critical essays.