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Philippe Soupault

Portrait of Philippe Soupault by Robert Delaunay.

Philippe Soupault (2 August 1897, Chaville, Hauts-de-Seine – 12 March 1990, Paris) was a French writer and poet, novelist, critic, and political activist. He was active in Dadaism and later founded the Surrealist movement with André Breton. Soupault initiated the periodical Littérature together with the writers Breton and Louis Aragon in Paris in 1919, which, for many, marks the beginnings of Surrealism.[1] The first book of automatic writing, Les champs magnétiques (1920), was co-authored by Soupault and Breton. In 1927 Soupault, with the help of his wife Marie-Louise, translated William Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience into French. The next year, Soupault authored a monograph on Blake, arguing the poet was a "genius" whose work anticipated the Surrealist movement in literature.[2] He directed Radio Tunis from 1937 to 1940, when he was arrested by the pro-Vichy regime. He fled successfully to Algiers.

After imprisonment by the Nazis during World War II, Soupault traveled to the United States, teaching at Swarthmore College but returned subsequently to France in October 1945.[3] His works include such large volumes of poetry as Aquarium (1917) and Rose des vents [compass card] (1920) and the novel Les Dernières Nuits de Paris (1928; tr. Last Nights of Paris, 1929).[3]

In 1957 he wrote the libretto for Germaine Tailleferre's opera La Petite Sirène, based on Hans Christian Andersen's tale "The Little Mermaid". The work was broadcast by French Radio National in 1959.

In 1990, the year Soupault died, Serbian.

Soupault's short story "Death of Nick Carter" was translated by Robin Walz in 2007, and published in issue 24 of the McSweeney's Quarterly.


  • Aquarium (1917)
  • Rose des vents (1919)
  • Les Champs magnétiques, (1919, in association with A. Breton)
  • L’Invitation au suicide (1921)
  • Westwego (1922)
  • Le Bon Apôtre (1923, novel)
  • Les Frères Durandeau (1924, novel)
  • Georgia (1926)
  • Le Nègre (1927, novel)
  • Les Dernières Nuits de Paris (1928, novel).
  • Le Grand Homme (1929, novel)
  • Les Moribonds (1934, autobiographical novel)
  • Il y a un océan (1936)
  • Odes à Londres bombardée (1944)
  • Le Temps des assassins (1945, sequel of autobiography)
  • Odes (1946)
  • L’Arme secrète (1946)
  • Message de l'île déserte (1947)
  • Chansons (1949)
  • Sans phrases (1953)
  • Arc-en-ciel (1979)
  • Mémoires de l’oubli (1981, autobiography)
  • Poèmes retrouvés (1982)


  1. ^ Montagu, J. (2002). The Surrealists. Revolutionaries in Art and Writing 1919–35. London: Tate Publishing
  2. ^ Keith Aspley,"Blake, William", in Historical dictionary of surrealism. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2010. ISBN 9780810874992 (p. 71)
  3. ^ a b Keith Aspley, "Soupault, Philippe", in Historical dictionary of surrealism. Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2010. ISBN 9780810874992 (pp. 446–48)

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

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