Jules Romains
Jules Romains, born Louis Henri Jean Farigoule (August 26, 1885 – August 14, 1972), was a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 poet and writer and the founder of the Unanimism
Unanimism is a movement in French literature begun by Jules Romains in the early 1900s. It is based on ideas of collective consciousness and collective emotion, and on crowd behavior, where members of a group do or think something simultaneously...

 literary movement. His works include the play Knock ou le Triomphe de la médecine, and a cycle of works called Les Hommes de bonne volonté (Men of Good Will).

Jules Romains was born in Saint-Julien-Chapteuil in the Haute-Loire
Haute-Loire is a department in south-central France named after the Loire River.-History:Haute-Loire is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on 4 March 1790...

 but went to Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 to attend first the
lycée Condorcet
Lycée Condorcet
The Lycée Condorcet is a school founded in 1803 in Paris, France, located at 8, rue du Havre, in the city's IXe arrondissement. Since its inception, various political eras have seen it given a number of different names, but its identity today honors the memory of the Marquis de Condorcet. The...

 and then the prestigious École normale supérieure
École normale supérieure
An école normale supérieure or ENS is a type of publicly funded higher education in France. A portion of the student body who are French civil servants are called Normaliens....

. He was close to the Abbaye de Créteil
Abbaye de Créteil
The Abbaye de Créteil or Abbaye group was an utopian, artitstic and literary community founded in 1907...

, a utopian group founded in 1906 by Charles Vildrac
Charles Vildrac
Charles Vildrac , born "Charles Messager", was a French playwright and poet.Born in Paris, Vildrac's first poems were written when he was a teenager in the 1890s. In 1901 he published Le Verlibrisme, a defense of traditional verse...

 and René Arcos, which brought together, among others, the writer Georges Duhamel
Georges Duhamel
Georges Duhamel , was a French author, born in Paris. Duhamel trained as a doctor, and during World War I was attached to the French Army. In 1920, he published Confession de minuit , the first of a series featuring the anti-hero Salavin...

, the painter Albert Gleizes
Albert Gleizes
Albert Gleizes , was a French painter. Born Albert Léon Gleizes and raised in Paris, he was the son of a fabric designer who ran a large industrial design workshop...

 and the musician Albert Doyen. He received his agrégation
In France, the agrégation is a civil service competitive examination for some positions in the public education system. The laureates are known as agrégés...

 in philosophy in 1909.

In 1927, he signed a petition (that appeared in the magazine Europe on April 15) against the law on the general organization of the nation in time of war, abrogating all intellectual independence and all freedom of expression. His name on the petition appeared with those of Lucien Descaves
Lucien Descaves
Lucien Descaves was a French novelist. A disciple of Joris-Karl Huysmans and the Goncourt brothers his novels Le Calvaire d'Héloïse Pajadou and Une vieille rate followed strongly the naturalism movement.The anti-military novel, Sous-Offs provoked a scandal...

, Louis Guilloux
Louis Guilloux
Louis Guilloux was a French writer born in Saint-Brieuc, Brittany, where he lived throughout his life. He is known for his Social Realist novels describing working class life and political struggles in the mid-twentieth century...

, Henry Poulaille, Séverine
Severine or Séverine can refer to:* the nom de plume of the French journalist Caroline Rémy de Guebhard* a pseudonym of the Hungarian model Eve Angel...

... and those of the young Raymond Aron
Raymond Aron
Raymond-Claude-Ferdinand Aron was a French philosopher, sociologist, journalist and political scientist.He is best known for his 1955 book The Opium of the Intellectuals, the title of which inverts Karl Marx's claim that religion was the opium of the people -- in contrast, Aron argued that in...

 and Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Sartre
Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary...

 from the École normale supérieure.

During World War II he went into exile first to the United States where he spoke on the radio through the Voice of America
Voice of America
Voice of America is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. It is one of five civilian U.S. international broadcasters working under the umbrella of the Broadcasting Board of Governors . VOA provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on radio...

 and then, beginning in 1941, to Mexico where he participated with other French refugees in founding the Institut Français d'Amérique Latine (IFAL).

A writer on many varied topics, Jules Romain was elected to the Académie Française
Académie française
L'Académie française , also called the French Academy, is the pre-eminent French learned body on matters pertaining to the French language. The Académie was officially established in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu, the chief minister to King Louis XIII. Suppressed in 1793 during the French Revolution,...

 on 4 April 1946, occupying chair 12 (among the 40 chairs in that august academy). In 1964, Jules Romains was named citizen of honor of Saint-Avertin. Following his death in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 in 1972, his place, chair 12, in the Académie Française was taken by Jean d'Ormesson
Jean d'Ormesson
Count Jean Lefèvre d'Ormesson is a French novelist whose work mostly consists of partially or totally autobiographic novels.- Life :...


Jules Romains is remembered today, among other things, for his concept of Unanimism and his cycle of novels in Les Hommes de bonne volonté (The Men of Good Will), a remarkable literary fresco depicting the odyssey over a quarter century of two friends, the writer Jallez and politician Jerphanion, who provide an example in literature of Unanimism.


Romains originally considered unanimism to mean an opposition to individualism or to the exaltation of individual particularities; universal sympathy with life, existence and humanity. In later years, Romains defined it as connected with the end of literature within "representation of the world without judgement", where his social ideals comprise the highest conception of solidarity as a defense of individual rights.

Romains in Popular Culture

The Red Envelope catalog company, in their 2007 Holiday catalog, surprisingly featured Les Createurs on the cover in a photograph, showing a female model playfully frustrated with her husband, a male model posing as a detached intellectual, half-heartedly helping her to decorate the Christmas tree, while his attention is focused on reading Les Createurs.


This entry is based in part upon a translation of the entry to Jules Romains in the French Wikipedia (translated on October 22, 2007).

External links

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