Jean Anouilh

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Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃.naˈnuj];[1] 23 June 1910 – 3 October 1987) was a French dramatist best known for his play Antigone, an adaptation of a Sophocles drama to attack Pétain's Vichy government.[2]



Early years

Anouilh was born in Cérisole, a small village on the outskirts of Bordeaux, and had Basque ancestry. His father was a tailor and Anouilh maintained that he inherited from him a pride in conscientious craftmanship. He may owe his artistic bent to his mother, a violinist who supplemented the family's meager income by playing summer seasons in the casino orchestra in the nearby seaside resort of Arcachon.

He attended école primaire supérieure where he received his secondary education at the Collège Chaptal. Jean-Louis Barrault, later a major French director, was a pupil there at the same time and recalls Anouilh as an intense, rather dandified figure who hardly noticed a boy some two years younger than himself. Anouilh enrolled as a law student in the University of Paris, only to abandon the course after just eighteen months when he found employment in the advertising industry. He liked the work and spoke more than once with wry approval of the lessons in the classical virtues of brevity and precision of language he learned while drafting copy. Overall, he wrote thirty plays which have been recognised and performed worldwide.

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