Henri Troyat: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

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Henri Troyat: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life
Henri Troyat: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

Video: Henri Troyat: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life

Video: Henri Troyat: Biography, Creativity, Career, Personal Life
Video: Nicolas Gogol : Les Âmes mortes par Henri Troyat [1953 / France Culture] 2023, June

Commander of the National Order of Merit, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Legion of Honor, Commander of the Order of Arts and Literature, laureate of several literary awards Henri Troyat is a French writer with Armenian roots who has written dozens of works about the history of Russia.

Henri Troyat: biography, creativity, career, personal life
Henri Troyat: biography, creativity, career, personal life


Henri Troyat's real name is Lev Tarasov. He was born in 1911 in Moscow, in a family of Circassian Armenians. Lev's ancestors bore the surname Toros, but when they moved to Armavir, a Russian official wrote down their surname as "Tarasov".

It was a famous family that contributed to the Russian economy through trade and investment in banking and railways. There is a German component in his blood from his mother's side, and a Georgian one from his father's side. A characteristic of many of Tarasov's relatives was a passion for what they loved.

From Armavir the Torosy moved to Moscow, where they had three children. They were a fairly well-to-do family that could afford to live almost in the center of the capital. When the youngest son was born in the Tarasov-Toros family, he was named Leon - in the Armenian manner. However, the parents had Russian passports, and they considered themselves Russian Armenians.

After the 1917 revolution, the Toros fled to Constantinople, but with their passports they were not allowed there, and they had to go to France. The Toros family had to go through a lot of trials, but their persistent disposition and self-confidence helped to overcome all difficulties.

They settled in Paris, where Leon studied at the Lyceum of Louis Pasteur, then at the Faculty of Law. Then he already had French citizenship. Then there was the army, service in the police prefecture and night vigils, when he wrote his first works. The prefecture made it possible to earn a living, and writing became something vital and necessary for him.

Success in writing

Toros's first novel "Deceiving Light" was published in the year of writing - in 1935. Then his pseudonym "Henri Troyes" was born, because the publisher refused to publish the novel of the author with a Russian surname. I had to get used to the new name and surname.

Three years later, Troyes' novel "The Spider" received the Goncourt Prize - an unprecedented success for a young writer. True, by that time he already had several short stories and stories.

After that, detailed biographical research began - Henri wrote about Russian writers. He wrote enthusiastically, earnestly and sincerely, studying archival documents and reading into their works, as if trying to understand their essence through what they described.

More than 100 books have been published from the pen of Troyes, including historical novels, biographies and plays, although there are not so many of them. He has been called one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century.

When Henri was asked why he wrote specifically about Russian writers, he replied that he adored Russian literature and wanted to acquaint French readers with these riches.

His passion and dedication did not go unnoticed: in 1959 he was overwhelmingly elected a member of the French Academy, which was a great rarity for emigrants.

Personal life

Henri Troyat was married twice, and he spoke with special love about his second wife, Geet, who, according to him, sharply and objectively criticized his works, thereby helping a lot in their writing. She was very friendly with Anri's parents, which also made him very happy.

He adored his children - daughter Minush, who was adopted, and son Jean-Daniel. The Troyes family was strong and loving.

Henri died in 2007 and is buried in Paris.

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