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Rolland, Romain (1866–1944) By Coustille-Cossou, Charles

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM123-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 19 May 2019, from
https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/rolland-romain-1866-1944-1

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Writer, professor, musicologist, biographer, essayist, novelist, playwright, great letter writer and diarist, mystic in search of a pacified world and of a heroic heart, Romain Rolland profoundly marked the first half of the twentieth century. While he initially wrote for the theatre, his first success would come from the ten-volume novel Jean-Christophe, published between 1904 and 1912. Through the life of a young and enthusiastic German musician with a French first name, he depicted, in great detail, two rival societies under the threat of war. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1915.

A talented piano player in his youth, Romain Rolland entered the École Normale Supérieure in 1886, defended a dissertation on the Origins of Modern Lyrical Drama [Les origines du théâtre lyrique moderne], and went on to teach art history and musicology at the Sorbonne. In Rome, he met Malwida von Meyensburg (a former friend of Nietzsche and Wagner) who accelerated his debut in literature. While he initially wrote for the theatre, his first success would come from the ten-volume novel Jean-Christophe, published between 1904 and 1912. Through the life of a young and enthusiastic German musician with a French first name, he depicted, in great detail, two rival societies under the threat of war.

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09/05/2016

Article DOI

10.4324/9781135000356-REM123-1

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Citing this article:

Coustille-Cossou, Charles. "Rolland, Romain (1866–1944)." The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism. : Taylor and Francis, 2016. Date Accessed 19 May. 2019 https://www.rem.routledge.com/articles/rolland-romain-1866-1944-1. doi:10.4324/9781135000356-REM123-1

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