Thursday, April 20, 2017

Born Today April 20: Joseph Delteil


Twentyith century French poet and writer Joseph Delteil was born on this day in Villar-au-Val, France into a working class family.  He reportedly became interested in poetry at a young age.  In 1898, his father was able to purchase a vineyard plot in the Ocitan speaking area of Blanquette de Limoux, the family relocated there soon after.  He started his education in the area, and remained there until 1907, when he began attending the main school in the town of Limoux itself.  He then matriculated to a seminary college in Carcassone.  His first novel was published in 1922.  This attracted the attention of fellow writers Breton and Aragon.  He then began contributing to magazine work and turned his writing skills to pamphlets.  In 1925 he published Jeanne d'Arc, the work that we principally concerned with here.  He was by this time, living a comfortable life in Paris; however in 1931 he became gravely ill and he gave up writing literature and returned to the south of France to recuperate. When he did recover, he returned to writing and became a poet of international renown.  In 1928 his novel about Joan of Arc was made into an epic film.  The Passion of Joan of Arc  was directed by Carl Theodore Dreyer and starred French actress Maria Falconetti.  The film is considered a masterpiece and remains an extremely popular silent feature.  This remains the only time any of Delteil's work was committed to film.  Delteil died in Montpellier, Hérault, France on the 16th of April in 1978, just 4 days before his 85th birthday.  He is buried in the Pieusse cemetery.  

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