Octave Mirbeau

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Mirbeau, Octave


Born Feb. 16, 1848, or 1850, in Trévières, Calvados department; died Feb. 16, 1917, in Paris. French writer.

The son of a physician, Mirbeau graduated from the Jesuit college in Vannes. He was influenced by anarchist ideas and the aesthetics of the decadents. His first book of short stories, Letters From My Cottage (1886), is marked by a striving for truth, as are the novel Calvary (1886; Russian translation, 1908) and the anticlerical novels Abbe Jules (1888; Russian translation, 1907) and Sébastien Roch (1890; Russian translation, 1907). However, the realism of these novels is weakened by naturalistic detail and recourse to the realm of mental disorder.

In the mid-1890’s, Mirbeau established close ties with the democratic intelligentsia. Together with E. Zola, he came out in defense of Dreyfus. His play The Evil Shepherds (1897; Russian translation, 1900) centers on the struggle between workers and factory owners. His best play, Business Is Business (1903; Russian translation, The Power of Money, 1903), continues his tendency toward socially meaningful drama. Mirbeau’s last works were the book of travel essays The 628-E8 Automobile (1907; Russian translation, Automobile Journey, 1908) and the play The Hearth (1908; Russian translation, 1908), in which he satirizes bourgeois philanthropy.


Oeuvres completes, vols. 1–9. Paris, 1934–36. In Russian translation: Poln. sobr. soch., vols. 1–10. Moscow, 1908–11.


Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Istoriia zapadnoevropeiskogo teatra, vol. 5. Moscow, 1970.


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Huysmans, Gustave Flaubert, Maurice Barres, Octave Mirbeau, Paul Verlaine and Charles Baudelaire.
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Oscar Wilde and the Politics of Posthumous Sainthood: Hofmannsthal, Mirbeau, Proust.
Douglas Hart, who oversees the culinary operations at Mirbeau, seeks out not only top-quality local foods but also companies with a focus on sustainability.
The writer Octave Mirbeau (1848-1917) described in 1889 Monet's Impressionist style of painting that portrayed light and water as if they were contained in an envelope.
Alexandre, Andre Gide, Stephane Mallarme and Octave Mirbeau were earnestly copying by hand the contents of a press release about the lower court verdict against Whistler in a suit brought by Sir William Eden to compel Whistler to complete his wife's portrait.
See also, Louis Patsouras, The Anarchism of Jean Grave (Montreal, 2003); Yves Fremion, L'anarchiste: L'affaire Leauthier (Paris, 1999); Alexander Varias, Paris and the Anarchists (New York, 1996); Andre Nataf, La vie quotidienne das anarchistes en France, 1880-1910 (Paris, 1986); and Reg Carr, Anarchism in France: The Case of Octave Mirbeau (Montreal, 1977).
After completing a highly successful adaptation of King Lear, Gordin adapted plays by Schiller, Octave Mirbeau, and Gerhardt Hauptmann, among others.
A The first lot of the sale, Le Jardin d'Octave Mirbeau A Dampes (Eure), 1892, by Camille Pissarro climbed to $2,658,500 (est.