Louis Aragon - World War II (1939-1945)

World War II (1939-1945)

In 1939 he married Russian-born author Elsa Triolet, the sister of Lilya Brik, a mistress and common-law wife of Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky. He had met her in 1928, and she became his muse starting in the 1940s. Aragon and Triolet collaborated in the left-wing French media before and during World War II, going underground for most of the Nazi occupation.

Aragon was mobilized in 1939, and awarded the Croix de guerre (War Cross) and the military medal for acts of bravery. After the May 1940 defeat, he took refuge in the Southern Zone. He was one of several poets, along with René Char, Francis Ponge, Robert Desnos, Paul Éluard, Jean Prévost, Jean-Pierre Rosnay, etc., to join the Resistance, both through literary activities and as an actual organiser of Resistance acts.

During the war, Aragon wrote for the underground press Les Éditions de Minuit and was a member of the National Front Resistance movement. He participated with his wife in the setting-up of the National Front of Writers in the Southern Zone. This activism led him to break his friendly relationship with Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, who had chosen Collaborationism.

Along with Paul Éluard, Pierre Seghers or René Char, Aragon would maintain the memory of the Resistance in his post-war poems. He thus wrote, in 1954, Strophes pour se souvenir in commemoration of the role of foreigners in the Resistance, which celebrated the Francs-Tireurs et Partisans de la Main d'Oeuvre Immigrée (FTP-MOI).

The theme of the poem was the Red Poster affair, mainly the last letter that Missak Manouchian, an Armenian-French poet and Resistant, wrote to his wife Mélinée before his execution on 21 February 1944. This poem was then set to music by Léo Ferré.

Read more about this topic:  Louis Aragon

Famous quotes containing the words world and/or war:

    Not even the visionary or mystical experience ever lasts very long. It is for art to capture that experience, to offer it to, in the case of literature, its readers; to be, for a secular, materialist culture, some sort of replacement for what the love of god offers in the world of faith.
    Salman Rushdie (b. 1947)

    Signal smokes, war drums, feathered bonnets against the western sky. New messiahs, young leaders are ready to hurl the finest light cavalry in the world against Fort Stark. In the Kiowa village, the beat of drums echoes in the pulsebeat of the young braves. Fighters under a common banner, old quarrels forgotten, Comanche rides with Arapaho, Apache with Cheyenne. All chant of war. War to drive the white man forever from the red man’s hunting ground.
    Frank S. Nugent (1908–1965)