Alfred de Musset

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Musset, Alfred de


Born Dec. 11, 1810, in Paris; died there May 2, 1857. French writer. Member of the Académie Française (1852).

The son of a civil servant who had an interest in literature, Musset graduated from the College Henri IV. His first collection of verse, Tales of Spain and Italy (1830), attracted the attention of readers. The literary-aesthetic viewpoint of the French romantics headed by V. Hugo, which rejected the reactionary political system and obsolete literary forms, was the basis for Musset’s subsequent work. In his second collection, Armchair Theater (1832), Musset sang the praises of freedom and theomachy and mocked bourgeois political machinations. His four lyrical narrative poems, published as Nights (1835–37), were very popular; the poems express sorrowful reflections awakened by feelings of loneliness.

Musset was one of the founders of romantic theater. His historical drama Lorenzaccio (1834) and his psychological plays about love, The Caprices of Marianne (1833), One Does Not Trifle With Love (1834), and The Candlestick (1835), are distinguished by their realistic characters and dramatic tension. In Lorenzaccio, the struggle with tyranny is treated artistically. The moral perfection of the individual is the basic theme of his other plays. Russia was the first to discover Musset the dramatist. Only after his comedy The Caprices of Marianne was staged in St. Petersburg in 1837 did French theaters begin to include his plays in their repertoires.

Musset’s novel Confession of a Child of the Century (1836) reflects French society of the 1820’s and 1830’s, showing the desperate situation of the younger generation in France and expressing the bright hope that mankind will attain peace and happiness in the future.

In Russia, Musset’s works were highly valued by A. S. Pushkin, L. N. Tolstoy, A. I. Herzen, and I. S. Turgenev. His poems were translated into Russian by I. S. Turgenev, A. A. Fet, V. S. Kurochkin, A. N. Apukhtin, and V. Ia. Briusov and, in Soviet times, by V. A. Rozhdestvenskii, S. V. Shervinskii, Iu. B. Korneev, and E. L. Linetskaia.


Oeuvres completes illustrées, vols. 1–10. Paris, 1927–29.
Oeuvres completes. Paris [1963].
In Russian translation:
Izbr. proizv., vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1957.
Ispoved’ syna veka, Novelly. Leningrad, 1970. (With an article by A. Andres.)


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 2. Moscow, 1956.
Teterevnikova, A. “A. de Miusse.” In Pisateli Frantsii. Moscow, 1964.
Sainte-Beuve, C. “A. de Miusse.” In Literaturnye portrety: Kriticheskie ocherki. Moscow, 1970.
Gastinel, P. Le Romantisme d’A. de Musset. Paris, 1933.
Soupault, P. A. de Musset. [Paris, 1966.]
Tieghem, P. van. Musset. Paris, 1969.
Lefebvre, H. Musset, 2nd ed. Paris [1970].


References in periodicals archive ?
An opening title quotes Beaumarchais, one of the comic dramatists of that century, and all during the film there are echoes of other dramatic works from centuries in addition to the eighteenth--works by Marivaux and de Musset, also Molihre and Feydeau and even Shakespeare and Jonson, indeed many masters of classical comedy.
In a nutshell: Overheated, underintellectualized study of the tempestuous affair between 19th-century Romantic writers George Sand and Alfred de Musset.
George Sand was actively involved in rebellious plots that culminated in the 1848 Revolution, and her life's story is covered with characters like Emperor Napoleon, Alexander Dumas, Frederic Chopin and Alfred de Musset.
Alfred de Musset once said that "great artists have no country," suggesting that citizenship of this republic requires belonging to none.
2) Excerpt from Nuit de decembre by Alfred de Musset and translated in The Double.
CHILDREN OF THE CENTURY: Juliette Binoche is George Sand and Benoit Magimel is Alfred de Musset in this story of the 19th-century writers' tempestuous love affair, directed by Diane Kurys (``Entre Nous'').
Instead, he would encourage people to read Alfred de Musset or Henri [sic] Heine "if we care to study contemporaries at all" (2:59).
Contractor address : Agence Aquitaine Nord, rue Alfred de Musset, ZA de Thouars
Kurys's film homes in on her most famous relationship, that with poet and all round dissolute party animal Alfred de Musset whose whoring, drinking and drug-taking lifestyle produced any number of tempestuous public blow ups with his lover.
THE LOVE AFFAIR BETWEEN George Sand and Alfred de Musset is the subject of Francois-Olivier Rousseau's novel, which also re-creates the ambience and the artistic community of early-nineteenth-century Paris.