Éluard, Paul

Paul Éluard, French poet, 1895-1952

Paul Éluard, who grew up in a Parisian middle-class home, contracted tuberculosis in his adolescence and had to undergo several treatments. During treatment in Davos he met his first wife and muse Gala. While at the Sanatorium Éluard published his first poems in 1913. Jean Paulhan introduced Éluard to André Breton and his circle in 1919. After Breton published the "Surrealist Manifesto" in 1924, Éluard adapted his poetry to the principles of surrealism. In 1937 Paul Éluard described surrealism as a state of mind and as an insurrection against the bourgeoisie. Poets and writers, to him, are society's conscience.