Du Bellay, Joachim

Du Bellay, Joachim

(zhōäshăN` bĕlā`), 1522?–1560, French poet of the Pléiade (see under PleiadPleiad
[from Pleiades], group of seven tragic poets of Alexandria who flourished c.280 B.C. under Ptolemy II Philadelphus. Of the works of the men usually given in lists of the Pleiad only those of Lycophron survive. A group of enthusiastic French poets took c.
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). He wrote their manifesto, La Deffence et illustration de la langue francoyse (1549), which urges the study and emulation of the classics and the use of French as the literary language. His poetic works, broadly imitative of Latin and Italian works, include a collection of sonnets, L'Olive (1549); and Divers jeux rustiques (1558). He served (1553–57) in Rome as secretary to his cousin, Cardinal Du Bellay; Les Regrets (1558) and Les Antiquités de Rome (1558) contain some of his finest poems, conveying his impressions of Rome and his nostalgia for his native land. The Antiquités were translated by Edmund Spenser.

Du Bellay, Joachim

 

Born 1522, in Lire, Anjou; died Jan. 1, 1560, in Paris. French poet.

Du Bellay was a member of the Pléiade and author of the group’s manifesto, The Defense and Illustration of the French Language (1549), which charted a course for the development of French poetry: the assimilation of new genres, enrichment of the language, and imitation of the classical poets and the poets of Italy, including Petrarch. Du Bellay’s early works—the collection of sonnets Olive (1549-50) and the collection of odes Lyrical Poems (1549)—reflected these literary principles. His enthusiasm for imitations and Platonist ideas, however, led to his break with national poetic traditions. The poems written after 1553 are less imitative of the Petrarchan style. From 1553 to 1557 he lived in Rome, where he wrote his best works, the collections of sonnets Roman Antiquities and Regrets and the collection of odes and elegies Rustic Games (all three were published in 1558). The poems in Regrets reveal unusual psychological sensitivity and lyricism in conveying the thoughts and feelings of a progressive man of the age, his reflections on his epoch, and his faith in historical progress despite his sense of the impending crisis of Renaissance culture.

WORKS

Oeuvres poétiques, vols. 1-7. Paris, 1908-31.
Lettres. Paris, 1883.
In Russian translation:
In Poety frantsuzskogo Vozrozhdeniia. Leningrad, 1938.
In Iz evropeiskikh poetov. Translated by V. Levik. Moscow, 1967. Stikhi. Moscow, 1969. (With Ronsard.)

REFERENCES

Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 1, pp. 272-75. Moscow and Leningrad, 1946.
Chamard, H. Joachim Du Bellay. Lille, 1900.
Saulnier, V.-L. Du Bellay l’homme et l’oeuvre. Paris, 1951.
Dickinson, G. Du Bellay in Rome. Leiden, 1960.

A. D. MIKHAILOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Du Bellay, Joachim. La Deffence et illustration de la langue francoyse.
Du Bellay, Joachim. Les Regrets et autres oeuvres poetiques, suivis des Antiquitez de Rome.
Yet as we shall see, not only does Du Bellay's project for the defense and embellishment of the French language contain significant contradictions, but its relationship to the monarchy is ambiguous as well: for example, in his dedication to his cousin Cardinal Jean Du Bellay, Joachim speaks rather abstractly of his "affection naturelle envers ma Patrie," and in the postface, expresses the hope that his treatise will find favor with "la nation Francoyse." Lastly, the very notion of this patrie will be shown to be problematic, both on a linguistic and ontological level.