Stéphane Mallarmé

related topics
{son, year, death}
{theory, work, human}
{work, book, publish}
{language, word, form}
{album, band, music}
{@card@, make, design}
{government, party, election}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}
{game, team, player}
{film, series, show}

Stéphane Mallarmé (French pronunciation: [malaʁˈme]) (18 March 1842 – 9 September 1898), whose real name was Étienne Mallarmé, was a French poet and critic. He was a major French symbolist poet, and his work anticipated and inspired several revolutionary artistic schools of the early 20th century, such as Dadaism, Surrealism, and Futurism.

Contents

Biography

Stéphane Mallarmé was born in Paris. He worked as an English teacher and spent much of his life in relative poverty; but was famed for his salons, occasional gatherings of intellectuals at his house on the rue de Rome for discussions of poetry, art, philosophy. The group became known as les Mardistes, because they met on Tuesdays (in French, mardi), and through it Mallarmé exerted considerable influence on the work of a generation of writers. For many years, those sessions, where Mallarmé held court as judge, jester, and king, were considered the heart of Paris intellectual life. Regular visitors included W.B. Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Valéry, Stefan George, Paul Verlaine, and many more.

On 10 August 1863, he married Maria Christina Gerhard. Their daughter, (Stéphanie Françoise) Geneviève Mallarmé, was born on 19 November 1864. He died in Valvin, Vulaines-sur-Seine in 1898.

Style

Mallarmé's earlier work owes a great deal to the style of Charles Baudelaire. His later fin de siècle style, on the other hand, anticipates many of the fusions between poetry and the other arts that were to blossom in the next century. Most of this later work explored the relationship between content and form, between the text and the arrangement of words and spaces on the page. This is particularly evident in his last major poem, Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard ('A roll of the dice will never abolish chance') of 1897.

Some consider Mallarmé one of the French poets most difficult to translate into English[1]. The difficulty is due in part to the complex, multilayered nature of much of his work, but also to the important role that the sound of the words, rather than their meaning, plays in his poetry. When recited in French, his poems allow alternative meanings which are not evident on reading the work on the page. For example, Mallarmé's Sonnet en '-yx' opens with the phrase ses purs ongles ('her pure nails'), whose first syllables when spoken aloud sound very similar to the words c'est pur son ('it's pure sound'). Indeed, the 'pure sound' aspect of his poetry has been the subject of musical analysis and has inspired musical compositions. These phonetic ambiguities are very difficult to reproduce in a translation which must be faithful to the meaning of the words. [2]

Full article ▸

related documents
Olaf Stapledon
Robert M. Pirsig
Johannes Vilhelm Jensen
André Breton
Angus Calder
Peter Kropotkin
Raymond Queneau
Eric Hobsbawm
Clement Martyn Doke
François Rabelais
Mikhail Lomonosov
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
Adrienne Rich
Louis Kahn
V. S. Naipaul
William Caxton
Paul Ehrenfest
G. H. Hardy
John Barbour (poet)
William Wollaston
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Leopold Zunz
Frederic William Henry Myers
Yousuf Karsh
Ronald Syme
Poet Laureate
Georges Perec
Banjo Paterson
Robert Lenkiewicz
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan