Senancour, Étienne Pivert de

Senancour, Étienne Pivert de

(ātyĕn` pēvĕr` də sənäNco͞or`), 1770–1846, French writer. He is known principally for his autobiographical epistolary novel Obermann (1804, tr. 1903). The sentimental attitude toward nature and the morbid melancholy of this novel without a plot are reminiscent of Rousseau, but a pervasive preoccupation with intellectual problems sets it apart from other works of the same genre and period.

Sénancour, Étienne Pivert de


Born Nov. 5 or 6, 1770, in Paris; died Jan. 10, 1846, in St. Cloud. French writer.

Sénancour published his first literary work, Aldomen, in 1795, under the name Pivert. In 1804 he published the novel Obermann, the confessions of a solitary dreamer, disillusioned with society and with himself. Almost unnoticed at first, this novel subsequently became the seminal work for the nascent romantic movement. It was greatly admired by G. Sand, C. Nodier, E. Delacroix, and F. Liszt. In 1833 it was reissued, with an enthusiastic foreword by C. A. Sainte-Beuve.


Obermann: Lettrespubl.par M. Sénancour. [Paris, 1965.]
In Russian translation:
Oberman. Foreword by S. Velikovskii. Moscow, 1963.


Le Gall, B. L’Imaginaire chez Sénancour, vols. 1–2. Paris, [1966]. (Dissertation.)
Hommage à Sénancour: Textes et lettres inédits. Paris, 1971. (With a bibliography.)