A Brief Biography
of Alain Bosquet
- 1919 March
28th: the birth in Odessa, Russia of Anatole BISK (occasionally BISQUE),
son of Alexandre and Berthe Turiansky. His paternal ancestors, originally
from Alsace and Belgium, established themselves in the Ukraine in the
middle of the nineteenth century to work in railroad construction there.
His father was a manufacturer, but also a poet. It was he who first
translated Rainer Maria Rilke into Russian.
- 1920: The
family, in reduced circumstances, moves to Varna, Bulgaria, on the shores
of the Black Sea. His father lives off translations; his mother gives
- 1923: Alexandre
Bisk becomes a bank employee in Sofia. He branches out into the stamp-collecting
- 1925: Move
to Brusselss. Little Anatole attends various primary schools.
- 1932-38: Secondary
studies at the Atheneum in Uccle.
- 1938: Studies
in Romance philology at the free University of Brussels. Founding of
a first literary review with José-André Lacour, then Jean
Mogin: Pylône. This review, which ran for only five issues,
was noticed by Charles Plisnier and Robert Poulet.
- 1940: Mobilized
May 10th, Anatole Bisk participates in the Belgian army campaign. At
its surrender, at his own request, he joins the French army. After the
armistice, he stays for a time near Montpellier.
- 1942: Lengthy
travels lead him to New York where he becomes sub-editor of the newspaper
of Free France, La Voix de France. With Yvan Goll, He founds
a literary review, Hémisphères. His stay in the
United States is also the occasion for important encounters : Maurice
Maeterlinck, Jules Romains, Thomas Mann... He becomes a familiar of
André Breton, by whom he is published in VVV. Roger Caillois
proposes his poems to Lettres françaises, in Buenos Aires.
- 1943: New
enlistment, in the American army this time. He serves in Texas, in California
and in Maryland, then, in December, is sent to Northern Ireland.
- 1944: Work
in London in Eisenhower's headquarters. He lands in Normandy, the is
posted to the H.Q. at Versailles.
- 1945: Liaison
officer and functionary of the Council of Allied Control in Berlin.
- 1947: Still
in Berlin, he founds a review in German, Das Lot, which will
be published until 1952.
- 1948: Is promoted
to Joint Director of Allied Liaisons and of Protocol.
- 1951: Moves
permanently to Paris et takes up his studies at the Sorbonne .
- 1953: Finishes
his education and decides to devote himself to letters. Thus begins
a series of important collaborations in Combat (the newspaper
of Albert Camus), in the Monde, in the Nouvelles littéraires,
in Figaro; later on in the Nouvelle Revue française
and in Quotidien de Paris.
- 1959: Teaches
French literature in various American universities: Brandeis University,
UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee; then, for three years, occupies the chair
of American studies at the University of Lyon. Reader for several publishing
houses, editor of numerous collections of poetry, producer and commentator
for the O.R.T.F.
- 1980: Naturalized
as a French citizen, Alain Bosquet founds the review of internationalliterature
- 1987: Election
to the Belgian Royal Academy of French Language and Literature.
- 1993: Election
to the Academy of Letters of Québec. President of the Académie
- 1998: Dies
in Paris, age 77.