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.

WORKS

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.)

REFERENCES

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].

M. S. TRESKUNOV

References in periodicals archive ?
The post Alfred de Musset's masterpiece in Cyprus appeared first on Cyprus Mail .
[8.] Preston HW, Biography of Alfred de Musset, Cornell University library, Boston, Roberts brothers, 1877.
Alfred de Musset's 1836 comic play concerns a dissolute playboy who accepts a tricky wager in order to pay off his own debts and enhance his uncle's business prospects.
ST Mark's Square - the only true square in Venice - was called "the drawing room of the world" by poet Alfred de Musset. It has been the scene of some of the most important religious and political events, as well as the centre of Venetian social life for almost a millennium.
Organized into four chapters which are further subdivided into extremely short sections (two to seven pages each), her book traces the complicated route of the evolution of romanticism in the works of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Robert Southey, Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset,William Wordsworth, and others, and then the post-romantic poetics of, primarily, William Wordsworth, Theophile Gautier, Mathew Arnold, Alfred Tennyson, and Oscar Wilde.
(2) Excerpt from Nuit de decembre by Alfred de Musset and translated in The Double.
Alfred de Musset, a figure who interested James for as many years, often as the naive victim of George Sand's manipulations, is more fully drawn upon, especially in the figurations of language which summon up the artistic and historical facets of Florence.
He has written books on Edgar Quinet and Alfred de Musset, co-edited the Michelet-Quinet correspondence and published on Anglo-French cultural relations.
Prosio, instead, prefers to side with those critics that place Thovez in the circle of late romantics alongside the name of Alfred de Musset.
Leonce und Lena (1838), a satire on the nebulous nature of Romantic ideas, shows the influence of Alfred de Musset and Clemens Brentano.
To Abraham Cahan, editor of the Jewish Forward at the turn of the century, she was a victim of a grasping father; to Alfred de Musset, a belle dame sans merci; to Matthew Arnold, a frivolous woman, and a sign of the decadence of her world.