Jules Supervielle

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Supervielle, Jules


Born Jan. 16, 1884, in Montevideo, Uruguay; died May 17,1960, in Paris. French writer.

After spending his childhood in South America, Supervielle went abroad and was educated at the Sorbonne. He began publishing in 1900. His collections Poems of Sorrowful Love (1919) and Landing Stages (1922) were followed by Gravitations (1925), which was praised by R. M. Rilke. Subsequent poetry collections by Supervielle were Oloron-Sainte-Marie (1927), The Innocent Convict (1930), The Unknown Friends (1934), and Fable of the World (1938).

Supervielle’s works dating from the period of World War II (1939–45), Poems About Unfortunate France (1941, 1942) and the collection 1939–1945: Poems (1946) were in the final analysis optimistic, in spite of the bitterness and pain they expressed. After the war, Supervielle published the collections Forgetful Memory (1949), Births (1951), The Staircase (1956), and The Tragic Body (1959).

Predominant in Supervielle’s early collections were the theme of nature, a sense of the romance of travel, and imagery drawn from the ancient cultures of South America. Supervielle’s mature works were marked by melancholy, anxiety, a concern with death, and the influence of myths and of Roman Catholicism. Supervielle published the novels The Man From the Pampas (1923), The Kidnappers (1926) and its sequel The Survivor (1928), and Young Man on Sunday (1955), as well as the short-story collections The Child of the High Seas (1931, 1946) and Noah’s Ark (1938), which expanded on the themes of his poetry. He also wrote the comedies The Beauty of the Wood (1932), Bolivar (1936), Robinson (1949), and Scheherezade (1949).


In Russian translation:
In la pishu tvoe imia, Svoboda. [Moscow, 1968.]


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 4. Moscow, 1963.
Roy, C. J. Supervielle. [Paris, 1967.] (Contains bibliography.)
Blair, D. S. Jules Supervielle: A Modern Fabulist. Oxford, 1960.
Etiemble, R. Supervielle. Paris, 1960.
Vivier, R. Lire Supervielle. Paris [1972].


References in periodicals archive ?
In his "Aft and Binding" words at the end of the collection, he lets the reader in on the "invisible" title of this accumulated cornucopia of translations, a line borrowed from a Jules Supervielle poem: "sentences that left unknown lips and, like stray bullets, found their target in you from afar.
In Jules Supervielle, Grand Banner Portrait, 1947, Dubuffet created a large-scale painting of the Uruguayan poet Jules Supervielle (1884-1960).
Honors came to Cocteau late in life: in 1955, a seat in the Belgian Royal Academy of Arts and Letters; in 1956, an honorary doctorate of letters from Oxford: and in 1960 the title Prince of Poets (an informal laureateship), succeeding Jules Supervielle, who died only two weeks after receiving that title.