Rolland 1866 - 1944 (78)

A hero is a man who does what he can.


Romain Rolland, (1866-1944) was a French writer (dramatist, novelist, essayist, art historian), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1915. He was born on January 29, 1866 in France, his parents were notaries. In 1886 he began studying philosophy; eventually he changed direction and took a History degree. He traveled for two years in Italy and when he returned he took a doctorate with the thesis:"History of opera in Europe" In 1895 he was appointed professor of history and until 1902 he wrote many plays, most of them on the French Revolution. He also wrote historical and art critics and had a large contribution to the democratization of the theater with his essay:“The People's Theatre”.

His most important work was Jean-Christophe with subject the life of a musical genius. In 1912 he resigned from university and since then he lived by writing In 1915 he was awarded the Nobel Prize . Throughout his life he was a pacifist, he protested against the First World War with the book "Above the Battle". He was also a fan of Indian philosophy and wrote in 1924 a book about Mahatma Gandhi. In 1937 Roland returned to France after several years of residence in Switzerland. In 1940 he completed his memoirs and a musical research on the life of Beethoven. Shortly before his death he wrote an essay on religion and socialism. He died on 30 December 1944, in Vézelay, France.

Romain Rolland, Jean-Christophe