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(pen name of René François Armand Prudhomme). Born Mar. 16,1839, in Paris; died Sept. 7,1907, in Chátenay-Malabry, Hauts-de-Seine Department. French poet. Member of the Académie Francaise (1881).
Sully-Prudhomme studied the sciences and law at the University of Paris. His first collection, Stances et poèmes (1865), brought him fame. He joined the Parnassian group (seePARNASSIANS). He was influenced by A. de Vigny and, in some respects, anticipated the symbolists. In his poems from 1865 to 1867 and in the collection Les Vaines Tendresses (1875) he portrayed man’s inner world and analyzed intimate experiences. After completing a superb translation of the first book of Lucretius’ poem, On the Nature of Things (1869), Sully-Prudhomme attempted to continue its tradition and wrote the major poems La Justice (1878) and Le Bonheur (1888), which reflected his moral, philosophical, and scientific ideas.
Sully-Prudhomme’s treatises were written in the spirit of positivist philosophy, which is reflected in, for example, the preface (1869) to his translation of Lucretius, in the treatise The Psychology of Free Choice (1906), in the essay The True Religion of Pascal (1905), in several sociological works, and in his art criticism, including Poetic Testament (1901). Sully-Prudhomme received a Nobel Prize in 1901.
WORKSOeuvres, vols. 1–7. Paris, 1886–1908.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. stikhotvoreniia. Compiled by P. N. Petrovskii. Moscow, 1924.
REFERENCESLemetr. Sovremennyepisateli. St. Petersburg, 1891.
Estève, E. Sully-Prudhomme.... Paris, 1925.
Dansel, M. “Sully-Prudhomme.” In his book Les “Nobel” Français de littérature. Paris .
N. N. POLIANSKII