Cendrars, Blaise (blĕz siNdrärˈ) [key], 1887–1961, Swiss-born French writer whose real name was Frédéric Sauser. He was at various times an art critic, a journalist, and a film director, and he traveled widely, notably in China and Africa. Before World War I, he was associated with Apollinaire, Picasso, and Braque, his poetry conveying a flood of images and emotions that reflected cubist principles. During the war he lost an arm fighting with the Foreign Legion. Later, he wrote fast-paced adventure novels with an exuberant, jazzlike cadence. Cendrars' writing anticipated both surrealism and the nouveau roman, and he had a strong influence on Apollinaire. His works include a collection of poems, Du Monde entier (1919) and the novels L'Or (1925, tr. Sutter's Gold, 1926) and Moravagine (1926, tr. 1928).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.