Break of Noon

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When Paul Claudel died in Paris at the age of eighty-seven, on February 23, 1955, it was recognized that the era in French letters dominated by the great “masters”–Proust, Valery, Gide and their fellows–had come to an end. Claudel, more than any of his contemporaries, had to wait a long time for his acceptance.

Before World War I some eminent critics had already compared his plays to Aeschylus and Shakespeare. But it was not until the late thirties that he was discovered–and rediscovered–by young and old alike.

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