Andre Mazon

Andre Mazon

French Slavist, professor
Date of Birth: 07.09.1881
Country: France

  1. Biography of André Mazon
  2. Education and Academic Career
  3. Contributions

Biography of André Mazon

André Mazon was a French Slavist, professor, and member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1941). He was born on September 7, 1881, in Paris, and passed away on July 13, 1967, in Paris.

Education and Academic Career

Mazon studied at the Sorbonne and the University of Prague. He taught French language at Kharkov University from 1905 to 1908. Mazon served as the scientific secretary of the Institute of Living Eastern Languages in Paris from 1909 to 1914. He was a professor at the University of Strasbourg from 1919 to 1923 and at the Collège de France from 1924 to 1952. Mazon was the head of the Institute of Slavic Studies in Paris from 1937, and Vice-President of the International Committee of Slavists from 1958 until his death.


Mazon was one of the founders and a member of the editorial board of the Parisian Slavic journal "Revue des Études slaves" (1921). As a linguist, he is known for his essay on the use of aspectual forms in the Russian verb (1914; now considered outdated) and his work on changes in Russian vocabulary during the war and revolution years (1920), which is believed to be one of the first attempts to scientifically document the linguistic realities of the Soviet era. He is also the author of concise grammars of Czech (1921) and Russian (1943) languages.

As a literary scholar, Mazon focused on describing the folklore of Balkan Slavs and primarily the Russian classical literature of the 19th century. He defended his dissertation on the works of Ivan Goncharov in 1914, and published manuscripts of Ivan Turgenev that were kept in Paris. In numerous works, he explored the works of almost all major writers of this period, from Pushkin and Shevchenko to Dostoevsky and Tolstoy. Mazon is well-known for his skeptical position on "The Tale of Igor's Campaign," which he regarded as a late imitation of "The Zadonshchina" (Le Slovo d'Igor, 1940, and many other works). Among skeptics, Mazon is one of the few professional philologists and Slavists. However, his arguments have been extensively examined and criticized, and currently, they cannot be accepted (a significant part of Roman Jakobson's work in 1947 is dedicated to a detailed critique of each argument put forth by Mazon).