Remy de Gourmont

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Gourmont, Remy de


Born Apr. 4, 1858, at Bazoches-en-Houlme, Orne Department; died Sept. 17, 1915, in Paris. French writer. Descendant of an aristocratic family.

Gourmont published his collection of verse Eruption of the Volcano in 1882. His critical studies of contemporary writers are collected in The Book of Masks (1896–98; Russian translation, 1913). In the preface Gourmont expounded his ideas on symbolism: its basic principles were extreme subjectivism and scorn for any representation of social phenomena in literature. In such works as The Culture of Ideas (1900) and The Problem of Style (1902) he took up questions of aesthetics, style, and language from the point of view of “art for art’s sake.” His book Windstorm (published in 1916) condemned the imperialist war of 1914–18.


In Russian translation:
Tsveta. Moscow [1910].
Devich’e serdtse. St. Petersburg [1910].
[“Stikhi.”] in Ten’ derev’ev: Stikhi zarubezhnykh poetov ν per I. Erenburga Moscow, 1969.


Lunacharsky, A. V. “R. de Gurmon.” Sobr. soch., vol. 5. Moscow, 1965.
Clouard, H. Histoire de la littérature française, du symbolisme à nos jours (de 1885 à 1914), vol. 1. Paris [1952].
Gourmont, J. de, and R. Delle Donne. Bibliographie des oeuvres de R. de Gourmont Paris [1922].


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Remy de Gourmont, in an article written in 1894, "Sur la hierarchie intellectuelle"" ("On Intellectual Hierarchy"), insists on the absolute distinction that exists between the creative elite and the crowd.
Decadence and other Essays on the Culture of Ideas by Remy de Gourmont.
The Frenchmen mentioned are Felix Feneron, Remy de Gourmont, Octave Mirbeau, Stuart Merrill, Adolphe Rette and Marcel Schwob; but there was a considerable degree of variation in the relations of these men with anarchism, with Wilde and even with Symbolism.
But his range of reference from Homer and Heraclitus to D'Annunzio and Remy de Gourmont, and his ability, at his recurrent best, to encapsulate an ambitious metaphysic in crystalline forms, always awed Seferis and clearly lies behind his last book.
Without naming British sources, such as an educated Briton can be expected to command, and what with my interest in the humanities governing my choices, I list incompletely and at random Justice Hand, Anatole France, Aretino, Thomas Paine, Tertullian, Pompidou, Aijaz Ahmad, Tzvetan Todorov, Ovid, Seneca, Eliphas Levi, Robert Mapplethorpe, Star Trek, Adorno, Quentin Tarantino, the Panchatantra, Joseph Wood Krutch, Max Lerner, Gide, Ben Franklin, Aesop, Victor Hugo, Remy de Gourmont, Francis Steegmuller, Ambrose Bierce, La Rochefoucauld, Turgenev, Petrarch, Elbert Hubbard, Unamuno, Stanislaw Lec, Margaret Fuller, Wittgenstein, and on and on.
This is precisely what enabled Remy de Gourmont, who was a soldier in 1915, to wage war on certain rhetorical constructions which he felt belonged to another age, if not to another planet.
Remy de Gourmont confesses that before the war he had seldom paid attention to questions of style.
As a very young man he'd already been a coeditor with Remy de Gourmont of L'Ymaginiev, "which published and analyzed .