Mistral, Frédéric

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Mistral, Frédéric

(frādārēk` mēsträl`), 1830–1914, French Provençal poet. With Théodore Aubanel he was one of the seven founders (1854) of the Félibrige, an organization to promote Provençal as a literary language (see Provençal literatureProvençal literature,
vernacular literature of S France. Provençal, or Occitan, as the language is now often called, appears to have been the first vernacular tongue used in French commerce and literature.
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). He was the leader of the movement and was recognized as its greatest poet. Besides many short poems he wrote four verse romances, notably Mirèio (1859, tr. 1867). He published a Provençal dictionary (1878–86) and wrote memoirs (tr. 1907). His verse is characterized rather by ease and beauty of language than by power of thought. He shared with Echegaray the 1904 Nobel Prize in Literature.

Bibliography

See his memoirs, tr. by G. Wickes (1986); studies by C. A. Downer (1901), R. Aldington (1960), and T. Edwards (1965).

Mistral, Frédéric

 

Born Sept. 8, 1830, in Maillanne, Bouches-du-Rhone Department; died there Mar. 25, 1914. Provengal poet.

The son of a landowner, Mistral graduated from the faculty of law in Aix-en-Provence. The style of his poetry was influenced by folklore and the medieval and contemporary poetry of southern France. J. Roumanille was his teacher and friend. Mistral’s poetry, published periodically beginning in 1848 in the Avignon newspaper La Commune, was first collected in the anthology The Provencals (1852).

Mistral was one of the leaders of the Félibrige movement, which revived the Provencal language and literature. He edited almanacs and compiled the Provengal-French dictionary The Treasury of Felibrige (1879–87). His long narrative poem Mireio (1859) enthralled A. Lamartine, A. de Vigny, V. Hugo, A. Daudet, and others. Mistral’s writing is characterized by romanticism and a wealth of folkloric material. His poetic craftsmanship, contributions to the development of Provencal literature and language, and sociocultural activities made Mistral famous outside his own country. He received a Nobel Prize in 1904.

WORKS

Oeuvres poétiques completes, vols. 1–2. Edited by P. Rollet. [Aix-en-Provence, 1966.]
In Russian translation:
“Magali.” Translated by B. Ber. Vestnik Evropy, 1892 [no. 5].

REFERENCES

Lunacharskii, A. V. “Mistral’.” Sobr. soch., vol. 5. Moscow, 1965.
Shishmarev, V. F. “Frederik Mistral’.” In his book Izbr. start: Istoriia ital’ianskoi literatury. Leningrad, 1972.
Konchalovskaia, N. “Tarn, gde vsegda Mistral’.” Oktiabrl’ 1973, no. 4.
Daudet, A. Ecrivains et artistes, vol. 1. Paris [1927].
Pélissier, J. Frédéric Mistral au jour le jour. Aix-en-Provence, 1967.
Place, G. F. Mistral Paris, [1969]. (Contains a bibliography.)

M. A. GOL’DMAN