Jean Anouilh

(1910 – 1987)

Jean AnouilhBiographical Sketch

Jean Marie Lucien Pierre Anouilh (Bordeaux, France, June 23, 1910 – Lausanne, Switzerland, October 3, 1987) was a French dramatist whose career spanned five decades. Though his work ranged from high drama to absurdist farce, Anouilh is best known for his 1943 play Antigone, an adaptation of Sophocles’s classical drama, that was seen as an attack on Marshal Pétain’s Vichy government. One of France’s most prolific writers after World War II, much of Anouilh’s work deals with themes of maintaining integrity in a world of moral compromise.

Read more about Jean Anouilh on Wikipedia.


Major Awards and Honors

Tony Awards
  • 1961: Play – “Becket”
    – Translated by Lucienne Hill; produced by David Merrick. Further awards for “Becket”: Motley (costume designer, drama), Oliver Smith (scenic designer, drama) and Teddy Van Bemmel (stage technician).



Plays and Screenplays
  • Humulus le Muet (1929)
    (Humulus the Mute)
    – With Jean Aurenche.
  • Mandarine (1931)
  • Jezabel (1932)
  • L’Hermine (1932)
    (The Ermine)
  • Y avait un Prisonnier (1935)
    (There Was a Prisoner)
  • Le Petit Bonheur (1935)
  • Le Voyageur sans Bagage (1937)
    (Traveller Without Luggage)
  • La Sauvage (1938)
    (The Restless Heart)
  • Le Bal des Voleurs (1938)
    (Thieves’ Carnivals)
  • Léocadia (1940)
    (Time Remembered)
  • Le Rendez-vous de Senlis (1941)
    (The Rendezvous at Senlis)
  • Eurydice (1941)
    (Eurydice; Legend of Lovers)
  • Antigone (1942)
  • Oreste (1945)
  • Médée (1946)
  • Roméo et Jeannette (1946)
    (Romeo and Jeannette)
  • L’Invitation au Château (1947)
    (Ring Round the Moon)
  • Monsieur Vincent (1947)
    – Screenplay.
  • Ardèle ou la Marguerite (1948)
    (Ardèle; The Cry of the Peacock)
  • Épisode de la Vie d’un Auteur (1948)
    (Episode in the Life of an Author)
  • Cécile, ou l’École des Pères (1949)
    (Cécile, or The School for Fathers)
  • La Répétition ou l’Amour puni (1950)
    (The Rehearsal: Or Love Punished)
  • Colombe (1951)
    (Mademoiselle Colombe)
  • La Valse des Toréadors (1952)
    (The Waltz of the Toreadors)
  • L’Alouette (1952)
    (The Lark)
  • Ornifle ou le Courant d’Air (1955)
    (Ornifle, or The Draft)
  • Pauvre Bitos ou le Dîner de Têtes (1956)
    (Poor Bitos or the Masked Dinner)
  • Becket ou l’Honneur de Dieu (1959)
    (Becket or the Honor of God)
  • L’Hurluberlu ou le Réactionnaire Amoureux (1959)
    (The Fighting Cock)
  • La Petite Molière (1959)
    (Little Molière)
    – Screenplay.
  • Le Songe du Critique (1960)
  • La Grotte (1961)
    (The Cavern)
  • L’Orchestre (1962)
    (The Orchestra)
  • La Foire d’Empoigne (1962)
    (Catch as Catch Can)
  • Collected Plays (1967)
  • Le Boulanger, La Boulangère et le Petit Mitron (1968)
  • Cher Antoine (1969)
    (Dear Antoine: Or, the Love That Failed)
  • Ne Réveillez pas Madame (1970)
    (Don’t Awaken Madame)
  • Les Poissons Rouges ou mon père, ce Héros (1970)
    (The Goldfish)
  • Théâtre (1951 – 1970)
  • Le Directeur de l’Opéra (1972)
    (Director of the Opera)
  • Tu Étais si Gentil Quand Tu Étais Petit (1972)
    (You Were So Nice When You Were Young)
  • Monsieur Barnett (1974)
  • L’Arrestation (1975)
    (The Arrest)
  • Le Scénario (1976)
  • Chers Zoizeaux (1976)
  • Léonora et les Maquereaux ou Vive Henry IV! (1977)
    A/K/A: Vive Henri IV ou la Galigaï
  • Oedipe ou le Roi Boiteux (1978)
  • La Culotte (1978)
  • Le Nombril (1981)
    (The Navel)
  • Thomas More ou L’Homme Libre (1987)
  • Anouilh: Plays (1987)
  • Jean Anouilh: Five Plays (1993)
  • Théâtre Complet (1999)
  • Fables (1967)
  • La Vicomtesse d’Eristal n’a pas reçu son Balai Mécanique: Souvenirs d’un Jeune Homme (1987)


A Selection of Quotes


“I spit on your happiness! I spit on your idea of life–that life that must go on, come what may. You are all like dogs that lick everything they smell. You with your promise of a humdrum happiness–provided a person doesn’t ask much of life. I want everything of life, I do; and I want it now! I want it total, complete: otherwise I reject it! I will not be moderate. I will not be satisfied with the bit of cake you offer me if I promise to be a good little girl. I want to be sure of everything this very day; sure that everything will be as beautiful as when I was a little girl. If not, I want to die!”

“Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law.”


“Saintliness is also a temptation.”

Roméo et Jeannette

“Mourir, ce n’est rien. Commence donc par vivre. C’est moins drôle et c’est plus long.”
(“To die is nothing. Begin by living. It’s less funny and lasts longer.”)

Find more quotes by Jean Anouilh on Wikiquote and Goodreads.