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.


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.)


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].


References in periodicals archive ?
The affair between 19th-century French writers George Sand (Juliette Binoche) and Alfred de Musset (Benoit Magimel) is chronicled in ``Children of the Century.
A Shakespeare Theater presentation of a play in two acts by Alfred de Musset, translated and adapted by John Strand.
En la primera funcion del ultimo dia se representaron On ne badine pas avec l'amour, de Alfred de Musset, y L'absent, de Claude Spaak, y en la segunda, Phedre, de Jean Racine.
CHILDREN OF THE CENTURY: Juliette Binoche is George Sand and Benoit Magimel is Alfred de Musset in this story of the 19th-century writers' tempestuous love affair, directed by Diane Kurys (``Entre Nous'').
Posibles lectores de Hugo y Chateaubriand, de Alfred de Musset y George Sand, de La Cartuja de Parma y El coronel Chabert.
THE LOVE AFFAIR BETWEEN George Sand and Alfred de Musset is the subject of Francois-Olivier Rousseau's novel, which also re-creates the ambience and the artistic community of early-nineteenth-century Paris.
The activities of this group, which included Hugo, Alphonse de Lamartine, Alfred de Vigny, and Alfred de Musset, are described in the Memoires of Alexandre Dumas pere.
His critical works include books on William Blake (1928), Charlie Chaplin ( Charlot, 1931) James Joyce (1944), and Alfred de Musset (1956).
Contract award notice: rnovation des portes d~accs rsidence alfred de musset.
Throughout his dramatic works, Alfred de Musset (1810-1857) famously stages the romantic ennui of the young men of his generation who, in the wake of the Revolution and after Waterloo, have nothing to believe in and no way to establish themselves in a society in transition.
Kurys's film homes in on her most famous relationship, that with poet and all round dissolute party animal Alfred de Musset whose whoring, drinking and drug-taking lifestyle produced any number of tempestuous public blow ups with his lover.
The solemn event took a turn for the risque when Pierre Cardin, giving a traditional introductory speech on the new Academician, reminisced about making love to Moreau in a room that Georges Sand and Alfred de Musset had occupied in Venice's Hotel Danieli.