Jules Romain

Jules Romain

French writer.
Date of Birth: 26.08.1885
Country: France

Jul Romain: A French Writer and Founder of Unanimism

Jul Romain was a prominent French writer and one of the founding members of the "Abbaye" group in 1906. He is considered to be the founder of Unanimism, a literary movement that he described in his poem, "La Vie unanime" (The Unanimous Life) in 1908. He was born on August 26, 1885, in Saint-Julien-Chapteuil, Upper Loire department, France.

Romain received his education at the Condorcet High School and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. From 1909 to 1919, he taught at various high schools. He was well-known for his contributions to the field of Unanimism, which was influenced by the rapidly evolving sociological studies. Unanimism focused on the individual's belonging to specific groups such as family, society, religion, or nationality. Its goal was to understand the collective life of these groups and their influence on the individual. This perspective shaped Romain's novels, with the exception of his trilogy "Psych" (1922-1929).

Romain passed away in Paris on August 14, 1972, leaving behind a rich literary legacy. He was not only a prolific writer but also gained recognition as a playwright. His plays, such as "Dr. Knock, ou le triomphe de la médecine" (Dr. Knock, or The Triumph of Medicine, 1923) and his adaptation of Ben Jonson's comedy "Volpone" (1928) in collaboration with Stefan Zweig, brought him particular fame.

One of Romain's notable works is the cycle titled "Les Hommes de bonne volonté" (The Men of Good Will, volumes 1-27, 1932-1946). Departing from traditional novel forms, Romain abandoned the usual plot structure and the principle of unity of action. Instead, the cycle presents a depiction of French society from October 6, 1908, to October 7, 1933. The author introduces readers to various circles of this society, including politicians, bankers, clergy, educators, artists, and workers from different professions. Each social class is represented by typical characters, and Romain explores the impact of changing conditions and national and international events on these social groups, with each one reacting in its own unique way. The cycle features over 400 characters, both real and fictional.

In addition to his focus on sociological aspects, Romain also showcased his skills as a nuanced psychologist. His extensive knowledge and diverse interests are evident in his numerous essays on literary, scientific, and political topics. Romain's works reflect his erudition and multidimensional perspective, making him a significant figure in French literature.