Romain Gary

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Romain Gary

Romain Gary (pseudonym of Roman Kacew or Katsev, 1914 – 1980) was a French writer and diplomat of Jewish-Lithuanian origin.

Romain_Gary’s Biography

He was born in Vilna, Lithuania on May 8, 1914, as Roman Kacew (Yiddish: קצב, Russian: Роман Кацев). Although he was born in Lithuanian lands of the Russian Empire he was a Russian Jew and never spoke Lithuanian, but Russian and Yiddish. He spent his childhood with his mother in Vilna, when the city belonged to Eastern Poland under the name of Wilno, where he studied violin and dance, without the slightest success. Later they live in Warsaw (1925-1928), about two and a half years, where she learns Polish in school, and at age thirteen, in 1928, she goes to Nice with her, perfecting the French language and decides to become a writer. Since his biological father, a Russian Jew, never recognized him, his mother passed him off as the son of Ivan Mozzhujin, the star of Russian cinema.

He fought in the French Armed Forces as a pilot during the Second World War and was decorated as War Hero with the War Cross by General Charles De Gaulle; from this experience he wrote European Education (1945). Appointed Knight of the Legion of Honor and Hero of Liberation, among other public decorations, after completing studies of law enters the diplomatic career, thanks to his polyglotism, typical of many expatriate Jews from Eastern Europe (spoke and wrote correctly French , English, Russian and German, in addition to understanding Polish, Spanish, Italian, Lithuanian and Yiddish). After the war he worked, therefore, as a diplomat until 1961 and became Consul General of France in Los Angeles (1958), where he arrived from the French Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia (1956), where he was added of foreign affairs, a position he also held in Sofia (Bulgaria) and New York, where he was France’s representative to the UN. He never became an ambassador, as his mother wanted, due, according to his relatives, to his somewhat bohemian life.

His best friends in Paris were the writers André Malraux and Albert Camus, whom he frequented in the offices of the Gallimard publishing house.

He married the writer Lesley Blanch and years later with the American actress Jean Seberg, with whom he maintained the marriage relationship until her suicide. Even after their separation, Gary paid her psychiatric treatments and gave her a flat in the center of Paris, where the actress lived in the company of their only son, Alexandre Diego Gary Seberg (Paris, 1963), sole heir of both. . Diego’s Spanish name, according to Romain Gary, was given to him because he was conceived at his summer residence in Palma de Mallorca.

He used the pseudonyms Émile Ajar, Fosco Sinibaldi and Shatan Bogat. He is the only writer in history who has twice won the Goncourt Prize, the second time under the pseudonym of Émile Ajar, a fact that generated a great controversy in France, with legal connotations and that was not resolved until shortly before his suicide. Gary scoffed at the high French culture and the more dogmatic literary criticism, which accused his work of romantic and outdated and, nevertheless, celebrated that of Émile Ajar a supposed young writer, unknown genius who praised without knowing that it was from the same writer: Romain Gary.

He was the author of some thirty books, novels, stories, essays and memoirs, as well as film scripts, a medium in which he directed two films starring his wife, Jean Seberg. His name appears in the credits of a score of films, telefilms and television series, as a scriptwriter, scriptwriter, director or actor (source:

He committed suicide on December 2, 1980 in his apartment in Paris.

As a result of Franco-Jewish cultural relations, a Center Culturel Français Romain Gary de Jérusalem was created in Jerusalem.

Work published

With the real name Romain Kacew
  • 1935 & nbsp ;: L’Orage (15.02.1935 in Gringoire)
  • 1935 & nbsp ;: Une petite femme (24.05.1935 in Gringoire)
  • 1937 & nbsp ;: Le Vin des morts
With the pseudonym Romain Gary
  • 1945 & nbsp ;: Éducation européenne
  • 1946 & nbsp ;: Tulipe
  • 1949 & nbsp ;: Le Grand Vestiaire
  • 1952 & nbsp ;: Les Couleurs du jour
  • 1956 & nbsp ;: Les Racines du ciel (Goncourt Prize)
  • 1960 & nbsp ;: The Promesse de l’aube
  • 1961 & nbsp ;: Johnnie Cœur (théâtre)
  • 1962 & nbsp ;: Gloire à nos illustres pionniers
  • 1963 & nbsp ;: Lady L.
  • 1965 & nbsp ;: The Ski Bum
  • 1965 & nbsp ;: Pour Sganarelle (Frère Océan 1) (essay)
  • 1966 & nbsp ;: Les Mangeurs d’étoiles (La Comédie américaine 1)
  • 1967 & nbsp ;: La Danse by Gengis Cohn (Frère Océan 2)
  • 1968 & nbsp ;: La Tête coupable (Frère Océan 3)
  • 1969 & nbsp ;: Adieu Gary Cooper (La Comédie américaine 2)
  • 1970 & nbsp ;: Chien blanc
  • 1971 & nbsp ;: Les Trésors de la Mer Rouge
  • 1972 & nbsp ;: Europe
  • 1973 & nbsp ;: Les Enchanteurs
  • 1974 & nbsp ;: Nuit will be calm
  • 1975 & nbsp ;: Au-delà de cette limit votre ticket n’est plus valable
  • 1977 & nbsp ;: Clair de femme
  • 1977 & nbsp ;: Charge d’âme
  • 1979 & nbsp ;: La Bonne Moitié (theater)
  • 1979 & nbsp ;: Les Clowns lyriques
  • 1980 & nbsp ;: Les Cerfs-volants
  • 1981 & nbsp ;: Vie et mort d’Émile Ajar (posthumous)
  • 1984 & nbsp ;: L’Homme à la colombe (definitive posthumous version)
With the pseudonym of Fosco Sinibaldi
  • 1958 & nbsp ;: L’Homme à la colombe
With the pseudonym of Shatan Bogat
  • 1974 & nbsp ;: Les Têtes de Stéphanie
With the pseudonym Émile Ajar
  • 1974 & nbsp ;: Gros-Câlin
  • 1975 & nbsp ;: La Vie devant soi (Goncourt Prize)
  • 1976 & nbsp ;: Pseudo
  • 1979 & nbsp ;: L’Angoisse du roi Salomon

More Facts about Romain Gary

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