Stéphane Mallarmé

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Mallarmé, Stéphane

 

Born Mar. 18, 1842, in Paris; died Sept. 9, 1898, in Valvins, department of Seine-et-Marne. French poet.

The son of a civil servant, Mallarmé became a teacher of English in 1863. After first modeling his verse on C. Baudelaire and the Parnassians, Mallarmé became one of the leading poets of French symbolism in the 1870’s and 1880’s. Despite his democratic attitudes, dissatisfaction with bourgeois reality, search for an ideal (poems of the 1860’s-1870’s, such as “Azure,” “Windows,” “The Wind From the Sea”), and readiness to evaluate the multicolored beauty of the world impressionistically (“The Afternoon of a Faun,” 1876, to which music was written by C. Debussy, 1892), Mallarmé arrived at a tragic conception about the split between poetry and life (“The Swan,” 1885). He came to the idea of an extremely hermetic poetry (Prose for des Esseintes, 1885) that would convey the pure idea by means of symbols alone (the article “Mystery in Poetry,” 1896). Bourgeois critics saw Mallarmé only as a symbolist and aesthete. However, Mallarme was also attracted to the real (Occasional Poems, 1880-98; published, 1920) and to comprehensive classical forms of poetry.

The essence of Mallarmé’s poetry is contained in the narrative poem “A Cast of the Die” (1897), a merciless, self-critical summary of the attempts of symbolist poetry to rise above reality; the poem turns to those abstract and metaphorical forms of realistic reflection of the objective world that in the 20th century came to be characteristic of G. Apollinaire, V. Nezval, P. Neruda, and French poetry of the Resistance and subsequent period.

WORKS

Oeuvres complètes. Edited by H. Mondor and G. Jean-Aubry. Paris, 1956. (With bibliography.)
In Russian translation:
[Verse.] In Voloshin, M. Stikhotvoreniia 1900-1910. Moscow, 1910.
[Verse.] In Briusov, V. Poln. sobr. soch. i perevodov, vol. 21. St. Petersburg, 1913.

REFERENCES

Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Verlaine, P. Les Poètes maudits. Paris, 1884.
Royère, J. Mallarmé. Paris, 1927.
Mondor, H. Vie de Mallarmé. Paris, 1941.
Roulet, C. Eléments de poétique mallarméenne … . Neuchatel [1947].
Dujardin, E. Mallarmé par l’un des siens. Paris, 1952.
Aragon, L. Journal d’une poésie nationale. Lyon, 1954.
Piselli, F. Mallarmé e l’estetica. [Milan, 1969.]

N. I. BALASHOV

References in periodicals archive ?
While Mallarme informs much of Duncan's writing, notably the metaphors of interruption and dictation central to his poetics, a cluster of Duncan's poems from the mid-70s gives us an important insight into the procedures of his final Ground Work volumes, illuminating his changing notion of the poem as 'gift'.
Thus, "Kafka's Dialectic"; and in "Mallarme Materialist," Jameson so adduces Hegel as not only to Hegelianize Mallarme but to Mallarme-ify Hegel.
Beginning with Mallarme, she indicates the ways in which Mallarme used techniques of suppression in his translations of Alfred Lord Tennyson and discusses Roger Fry's translations of Mallarme, which Caws maintains are reminiscent of Mallarme's translations of James Abbott McNeil Whistler in their insensitivity to deliberate ambiguity.
Por otra parte, para el objetivo propuesto es importante poner en escena la teoria poetica de Mallarme, por lo que Un golpe de dados nunca abolira el azar sera central en la reflexion.
Since "Tennyson, vu d'ici" is now readily available in English for the first time, perhaps this might be the moment to look at it in detail, but to do so within the larger context of Tennyson's impact upon Mallarme and upon the nineteenth-century French poetic tradition more generally.
En las postrimerias del siglo, la revista Cosmopolis publico Un tiro de dados nunca abolira el azar, que --a decir del poeta, periodista y traductor peruano Rodolfo Hinostroza (1941-2016)--formaba parte de una obra absoluta el Libro Perfecto, que no se culmino, y cuya realizacion preciso Mallarme en el folleto A proposito del libro (1898); "Intentaba reproducir, a nivel incluso tipografico, el proceso de pensamiento en la creacion del poema y el juego de posibilidades oculto en el lenguaje.
Este "incomparable soneto", puesto de relieve por Dario, es "Ses purs ongles tres haut dediant leur onyx", incluido en la antologia de obras de Mallarme del ano 1893, en cuyo segundo cuarteto, verso 5, figura la palabra "ptyx": "Sur les credences, au salon vide: nul ptyx" (Sala sin nadie ni en las credencias conca alguna), un vocablo, cuyo uso habria dejado aturdido a la gran muchedumbre fuera del templo (del arte) (15).
In very similar terms, Mallarme evokes "these latitudes of indeterminate waves in which all reality dissolves," and since it is a question of the master, the near certainty of a "shipwreck pertaining to man without vessel no matter where vain.
The philosophers' interpretations differ in other respects, of course, but they seem to agree in their characterization of Mallarme as not an oral but a paradigmatically written genius.
The pages on Manet's portrait of Mallarme are equally suggestive, as is the analysis of Manet and Mallarme's collaboration on a translation and edition of Poe's "The Raven.
The volume is balanced between well-known Symbolist writers such as Mallarme, Rimbaud and Laforgue and less-studied Symbolists or those on the margins of Symbolism.
The prime number with which Mallarme was working, he believes, is seven, and the unique number 707--a hypothesis corroborated by several pieces of ingenious cryptogrammic reasoning, including the homonymic identity of the key word "si" (in the repeated phrase "com me si") with the seventh note in the sol-fa scale, and the discovery that two thematically related sonnets from the oeuvre contain, respectively, 70 and 77 words, while a third ("Sonneten - X") points, like the end of Coup de des, to the Septentrion constellation, named for its seven stars.