- Category : Writers-Playwright-script
- Type : GE
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Split - Small (6,42)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Sphinx 3
French writer, diplomat, poet and dramatist, considered the most important Catholic dramatist of the 20th century as well as the first truly dramatic poet in France since Racine.
Born to middle class parent, he was the son of a civil servant, and educated mainly in Paris. Between 1893 and 1935, he worked in the consular and diplomatic service in Europe, the Far East, and North and South America. Claudel acted as French vice-consul in New York in 1893, then went on to serve as acting consul at Boston in 1894. He served in the French Diplomatic Corps and rose to fill the position of the Office of the Ambassador to the USA. He was later assigned to work in China until 1908, then the consul at Prague. In 1911, he served as Consul General at Frankfurt and in 1913 to Hamburg. Claudel was in charge of the Economic Mission at Rome. Minister to Brazil in 1917, he moved to Copenhagen in 1919. He was Ambassador to Japan in 1922, to Washington in 1927 and to Brussels in 1933.
During Christmas Mass in 1886, at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Claudel underwent a profound mystical experience which changed his life. He described it as, "in one instant my heart was touched and I believed." This event led to his becoming a Roman Catholic convert in 1890. Up to this moment he had spent years struggling to merge the opposition between his intuition and his intellect.
Claudel successfully balanced his diplomatic duties while producing literary works. His writing explored the conflict between man's earthly desires and their spiritual destination. He wrote with fervor, passion and bold imagery, a religious, poetic genius, combining spiritual attitude with powerful literary style.
He was responsible for introducing several techniques in play-writing, such as placing emphasis on the spiritual rather than the psychological truth, using symbolic rather than logical dramatic action. His work was widely performed after 1925 on the French stage.
In 1905 he married Reine Sainte Marie Perrine, together they had five children. In 1935, he retired. Claudel died on 2/23/1955 in Paris, leaving behind many full years of work and honors. He is best remembered for his attempts to return drama to its religious roots as a mythic spectacle and a re-enactment of the conflict between God and man.