Cendrars, Blaise (1887–1961) By Sperling, Joshua; Wood, Jamie
Blaise Cendrars was one of the leading experimental writers of the twentieth century. In addition to being a novelist and journalist, he was also a film-maker and explorer. Although his career spanned many decades, Cendrars is now best known for his involvement in the Parisian avant-garde just prior to and following World War I. Cendrars experimented with free verse, image and text, and unusual narrative structures that combined the historical with the biographical and imaginary as a means of capturing the experience of modernity. Immediately following the war he wrote La Fin du monde filmée par l'Ange Notre-Dame (1919), the first poem to assume the form of a screenplay. During the years of his career that followed the First World War, Cendrars turned to the novel and continued to experiment in a variety of genres including the grotesque, reportage, and historical fiction. He died in 1961 following the publication of a tetralogy of memoirs.