Paul Morand was a French diplomat, novelist, playwright and poet, considered an early Modernist.
He was a graduate of the Paris Institute of Political Studies (better known as Sciences Po). During the pre-war period, he wrote many short books which are noted for their elegance of style, erudition, narrative concision, and for the author's observation of the countries he visited combined with his middle-class views.
Morand's reputation has been marred by his stance during the Second World War, when he collaborated with the Vichy regime and was a vocal anti-Semite. When the Second World War ended, Morand served as an ambassador in Bern, but his position was revoked and he lived in exile in Switzerland.
Post-war, he was a patron of the Hussards literary movement, which opposed Existentialism. Morand went on to become a member of the Académie française; his candidature was initially rejected by Charles de Gaulle, the only instance of a President ever exercising his right to veto electees to the academy. Morand was finally elected ten years later, though he still had to forgo the official investiture).
Paul Morand was a friend of Marcel Proust and has left valuable observations about him.