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Benjamin Crémieux


CRÉMIEUX, BENJAMIN (1888–1944), French author and literary historian. Born in Narbonne, Crémieux was descended from an old Jewish family originating in the Midi. While serving in the French Army during World War I, he was wounded three times. After the war he became an authority on Italian literature and translated Luigi Pirandello into French. Crémieux was secretary-general of the French Institute in Florence and secretary of the French PEN Club. His best known works were Le vingtième siècle (1924), essays on contemporary writers, and Inventaires; inquiétude et reconstruction (1931), an essay on post-World War I writing. In his only novel, Le premier de la classe (1921), Crémieux tells the story of young Blum, the son of a Jewish tailor, who maintains his ancestral allegiances. After the French collapse in 1940, Crémieux joined the French underground and became a leader of the Maquis. He was captured and executed by a Nazi firing squad.

Sources:A.A. Eustis, Marcel Arland, Benjamin Crémieux, Ramon Fernandez; trois critiques de la "Nouvelle revue française" (1961), 71–120, 209–12.

[Arnold Mandel]

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