|Real Name:||André Malraux|
|Birth Day:||November 3, 1901|
|Death Date:||23 November 1976(1976-11-23) (aged 75)
|Birth Place:||Paris, France, France|
As per our current Database, Andre Malraux died on 23 November 1976(1976-11-23) (aged 75)
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
Malraux was born in Paris in 1901, the son of Fernand-Georges Malraux (1875–1930) and Berthe Félicie Lamy (1877–1932). His parents separated in 1905 and eventually divorced. There are suggestions that Malraux's paternal grandfather committed suicide in 1909.
Malraux's first published work, an article entitled "The Origins of Cubist Poetry", appeared in Florent Fels' magazine Action in 1920. This was followed in 1921 by three semi-surrealist tales, one of which, "Paper Moons", was illustrated by Fernand Léger. Malraux also frequented the Parisian artistic and literary milieux of the period, meeting figures such as Demetrios Galanis, Max Jacob, François Mauriac, Guy de Pourtalès, André Salmon, Jean Cocteau, Raymond Radiguet, Florent Fels, Pascal Pia, Marcel Arland, Edmond Jaloux, and Pierre Mac Orlan. In 1922, Malraux married Clara Goldschmidt. Malraux and his first wife separated in 1938 but didn't divorce until 1947. His daughter from this marriage, Florence (b. 1933), married the filmmaker Alain Resnais. By the age of twenty, Malraux was reading the work of the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who was to remain a major influence on him for the rest of his life. Malraux was especially impressed with Nietzsche's theory of a world in continuous turmoil and his statement "that the individual himself is still the most recent creation" who was completely responsible for all of his actions. Most of all, Malraux embraced Nietzsche's theory of the Übermensch, the heroic, exalted man who would create great works of art and whose will would allow him to triumph over anything.
In 1923, aged 22, Malraux and Clara left for the French Protectorate of Cambodia. Angkor Wat is a huge 12th century temple situated in the old capital of the Khmer empire. Angkor (Yasodharapura) was "the world's largest urban settlement" in the 11th and 12th centuries supported by an elaborate network of canals and roads across mainland Southeast Asia before decaying and falling into the jungle. The discovery of the ruins of Angkor Wat by Westerners (the Khmers had never fully abandoned the temples of Angkor) in the jungle by the French explorer Henri Mouhot in 1861 had given Cambodia a romantic reputation in France, as the home of the vast, mysterious ruins of the Khmer empire. Upon reaching Cambodia, Malraux, Clara and friend Louis Chevasson undertook an expedition into unexplored areas of the former imperial settlements in search of hidden temples, hoping to find artifacts and items that could be sold to art collectors and museums. At about the same time archaeologists, with the approval of the French government, were removing large numbers of items from Angkor - many of which are now housed in the Guimet Museum in Paris. On his return, Malraux was arrested and charged by French colonial authorities for removing a bas-relief from the exquisite Banteay Srei temple. Malraux, who believed he had acted within the law as it then stood, contested the charges but was unsuccessful.
Malraux's experiences in Indochina led him to become highly critical of the French colonial authorities there. In 1925, with Paul Monin, a progressive lawyer, he helped to organize the Young Annam League and founded a newspaper L'Indochine to champion Vietnamese independence. After falling foul of the French authorities, Malraux claimed to have crossed over to China where he was involved with the Kuomintang and their then allies, the Chinese Communists, in their struggle against the warlords in the Great Northern Expedition before they turned on each other in 1927, which marked the beginning of the Chinese Civil War that was to last on and off until 1949. In fact, Malraux did not first visit China until 1931 and he did not see the bloody suppression of the Chinese Communists by the Kuomintang in 1927 first-hand as he often implied that he did, although he did do much reading on the subject.
Malraux was raised by his mother, maternal aunt Marie Lamy and maternal grandmother, Adrienne Lamy (née Romagna), who had a grocery store in the small town of Bondy. His father, a stockbroker, committed suicide in 1930 after the international crash of the stock market and onset of the Great Depression. From his childhood, associates noticed that André had marked nervousness and motor and vocal tics. The recent biographer Olivier Todd, who published a book on Malraux in 2005, suggests that he had Tourette syndrome, although that has not been confirmed. Either way, most critics have not seen this as a significant factor in Malraux's life or literary works.
In 1933 Malraux published Man's Fate (La Condition Humaine), a novel about the 1927 failed Communist rebellion in Shanghai. Despite Malraux's attempts to present his Chinese characters as more three dimensional and developed than he did in Les Conquérants, his biographer Oliver Todd wrote he could not "quite break clear of a conventional idea of China with coolies, bamboo shoots, opium smokers, destitutes, and prostitutes", which were the standard French stereotypes of China at the time. The work was awarded the 1933 Prix Goncourt. After the breakdown of his marriage with Clara, Malraux lived with journalist and novelist Josette Clotis, starting in 1933. Malraux and Josette had two sons: Pierre-Gauthier (1940–1961) and Vincent (1943–1961). During 1944, while Malraux was fighting in Alsace, Josette died, aged 34, when she slipped while boarding a train. His two sons died together in 1961 in an automobile accident.
On 22 February 1934, Malraux together with Édouard Corniglion-Molinier embarked on a much publicized expedition to find the lost capital of the Queen of Sheba mentioned in the Old Testament. Saudi Arabia and Yemen were both remote, dangerous places that few Westerners visited at the time, and what made the expedition especially dangerous was while Malraux was searching for the lost cities of Sheba, King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen, and the ensuing Saudi–Yemeni war greatly complicated Malraux's search. After several weeks of flying over the deserts in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Malraux returned to France to announce that the ruins he found up in the mountains of Yemen were the capital of the Queen of Sheba. Though Malraux's claim is not generally accepted by archeologists, the expedition bolstered Malraux's fame and provided the material for several of his later essays.
During the 1930s, Malraux was active in the anti-fascist Popular Front in France. At the beginning of the Spanish Civil War he joined the Republican forces in Spain, serving in and helping to organize the small Spanish Republican Air Force. Curtis Cate, one of his biographers, writes that Malraux was slightly wounded twice during efforts to stop the Battle of Madrid in 1936 as the Spanish Nationalists attempted to take Madrid, but the historian Hugh Thomas argues otherwise.
The Republic circulated photos of Malraux standing next to some Potez 540 bombers suggesting that France was on their side, at a time when France and the United Kingdom had declared official neutrality. But Malraux's commitment to the Republicans was personal, like that of many other foreign volunteers, and there was never any suggestion that he was there at the behest of the French Government. Malraux himself was not a pilot, and never claimed to be one, but his leadership qualities seem to have been recognized because he was made Squadron Leader of the 'España' squadron. Acutely aware of the Republicans' inferior armaments, of which outdated aircraft were just one example, he toured the United States to raise funds for the cause. In 1937 he published L'Espoir (Man's Hope), a novel influenced by his Spanish war experiences.
At the beginning of the Second World War, Malraux joined the French Army. He was captured in 1940 during the Battle of France but escaped and later joined the French Resistance. In 1944, he was captured by the Gestapo. He later commanded the Brigade Alsace-Lorraine in defence of Strasbourg and in the attack on Stuttgart.
André's half-brother, Claude, a Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent, was also captured by the Germans, and executed at Gross-Rosen concentration camp in 1944.
During the war, he worked on his last novel, The Struggle with the Angel, the title drawn from the story of the Biblical Jacob. The manuscript was destroyed by the Gestapo after his capture in 1944. A surviving first section, titled The Walnut Trees of Altenburg, was published after the war.
In 1957, Malraux published the first volume of his trilogy on art entitled The Metamorphosis of the Gods. The second two volumes (not yet translated into English) were published shortly before he died in 1976. They are entitled L'Irréel and L'Intemporel and discuss artistic developments from the Renaissance to modern times. Malraux also initiated the series Arts of Mankind, an ambitious survey of world art that generated more than thirty large, illustrated volumes.
When de Gaulle returned to the French presidency in 1958, Malraux became France's first Minister of Cultural Affairs, a post he held from 1958 to 1969. On 7 February 1962, Malraux was the target of an assassination attempt by the Organisation armée secrète (OAS), which set off a bomb to his apartment building that failed to kill its intended target, but did leave a four-year-old girl who was living in the adjoining apartment blinded by the shrapnel. Ironically, Malraux was a lukewarm supporter of de Gaulle's decision to grant independence to Algeria, but the OAS was not aware of this, and had decided to assassinate Malraux as a high-profile minister.
Malraux was an outspoken supporter of the Bangladesh liberation movement during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh and despite his age seriously considered joining the struggle. When Indira Gandhi came to Paris in November 1971, there was extensive discussion between them about the situation in Bangladesh.
Malraux died in Créteil, near Paris, on 23 November 1976 from a lung embolism. He was a heavy smoker and had cancer. He was buried in the Verrières-le-Buisson (Essonne) cemetery. In recognition of his contributions to French culture, his ashes were moved to the Panthéon in Paris during 1996, on the twentieth anniversary of his death.
Shortly after the war, General Charles de Gaulle appointed Malraux as his Minister for Information (1945–1946). Soon after, he completed his first book on art, The Psychology of Art, published in three volumes (1947–1949). The work was subsequently revised and republished in one volume as The Voices of Silence (Les Voix du Silence), the first part of which has been published separately as The Museum without Walls. Other important works on the theory of art were to follow. These included the three-volume Metamorphosis of the Gods and Precarious Man and Literature, the latter published posthumously in 1977. In 1948, Malraux married a second time, to Marie-Madeleine Lioux, a concert pianist and the widow of his half-brother, Roland Malraux. They separated in 1966. Subsequently, Malraux lived with Louise de Vilmorin in the Vilmorin family château at Verrières-le-Buisson, Essonne, a suburb southwest of Paris. Vilmorin was best known as a writer of delicate but mordant tales, often set in aristocratic or artistic milieu. Her most famous novel was Madame de..., published in 1951, which was adapted into the celebrated film The Earrings of Madame de… (1953), directed by Max Ophüls and starring Charles Boyer, Danielle Darrieux and Vittorio de Sica. Vilmorin's other works included Juliette, La lettre dans un taxi, Les belles amours, Saintes-Unefois, and Intimités. Her letters to Jean Cocteau were published after the death of both correspondents. After Louise's death, Malraux spent his final years with her relative, Sophie de Vilmorin.
During this post-war period, Malraux published a series of semi-autobiographical works, the first entitled Antimémoires (1967). A later volume in the series, Lazarus, is a reflection on death occasioned by his experiences during a serious illness. La Tête d'obsidienne (1974) (translated as Picasso's Mask) concerns Picasso, and visual art more generally. In his last book, published posthumously in 1977, L'Homme précaire et la littérature, Malraux propounded the theory that there was a bibliothèque imaginaire where writers created works that influenced subsequent writers much as painters learned their craft by studying the old masters; once they have understood the work of the old masters, writers would sally forth with the knowledge gained to create new works that added to the growing and never-ending bibliothèque imaginaire. An elitist who appreciated what he saw as the high culture of all the nations of the world, Malraux was especially interested in art history and archaeology, and saw his duty as a writer to share what he knew with ordinary people. An aesthete, Malraux believed that art was spiritually enriching and necessary for humanity.
Currently, Andre Malraux is 121 years, 7 months and 5 days old. Andre Malraux will celebrate 122nd birthday on a Friday 3rd of November 2023.
Find out about Andre Malraux birthday activities in timeline view here.