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Stéphane Mallarmé (1842–1898)

Author of Poems

132+ Works 2,166 Members 18 Reviews 22 Favorited

About the Author

Stéphane Mallarmé, 1842 - 1898 French poet Stéphane Mallarmé was born in Paris. His father and grandfather expected him to follow in the family tradition of French civil service but he didn't do well in school. Mallarmé began writing at a young age under the influence of Charles Baudelaire. show more After Mallarmé left school, he went to England and while there he got married. He was a schoolteacher from 1864 until his retirement in 1893. His first poems started appearing in magazines during the 1860's. He wrote his first important poem "L'Azur" and it was published when he was twenty-four years old. His most famous work is "L'Apres-Midi D'un Faune" (1865), and was inspired by Debussy's tone poem of the same name (1894) and illustrated by the famous painter Manet. Some of his other notable works are "Herodiade" (1896), and "Toast Funebre," which was written in memory of the author Theopile Gautier. Mallarmé spent his life putting his literary theories into practice by writing his Grand oeuvre (Great Work). On September 9, 1898, Mallarme died without completing this work. His experimental poem "Un Coup De Des" was published posthumously in 1914. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
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Works by Stéphane Mallarmé

Poems (1965) 466 copies
Collected Poems (1994) 248 copies
Selected Poetry and Prose (1982) 173 copies
Selected Poems (1957) 144 copies
A Tomb for Anatole (1974) 98 copies
Œuvres complètes (1998) 72 copies
Divagations (1943) 61 copies
The afternoon of a faun (1976) 44 copies
Mallarme in Prose (2001) 35 copies
Versi e prose (1951) 29 copies
The Book (2018) 20 copies
Poésies et autres textes (2005) 17 copies
Racconti indiani (1995) 16 copies
Antología (1991) 11 copies
Correspondance: (1854-1898) (2019) — Author — 7 copies
Pages choisies (1954) 7 copies
Sonnets (2002) 6 copies
Correspondance : II (1965) 5 copies
Vers de circonstance (1996) 4 copies
Herodías (1896) 4 copies
Prosas (1987) 4 copies
Les Loisirs de la poste (1998) 3 copies
Ecrits sur l'art (1998) — Author — 3 copies
Correspondance: 1862-1871 (1959) 3 copies
Correspondance : III (1969) 2 copies
Obra Poética (Tomo II) (1993) 2 copies
Blanco Sobre Negro (1997) 2 copies
Dos poemas dramáticos (1972) 2 copies
Correspondance (1983) — Author — 2 copies
Poemas em Prosa (2022) 2 copies
Wybór poezji (1980) 2 copies
Correspondance (1985) — Author — 2 copies
Correspondance (1984) — Author — 2 copies
OBRA POETICA (2013) 1 copy
Correspondance: 1862-1891 (1981) — Author — 1 copy
Correspondance. Tome 8/11 : 1896 (1983) — Author — 1 copy
divagations extraits (1969) 1 copy
Utvalgte tekster (1983) 1 copy
散文詩篇 1 copy
Ποιήματα (1999) 1 copy
Pages (French Edition) (2017) 1 copy
詩集 1 copy
Pesme 1 copy
on fashion 1 copy
Dvorac nade 1 copy
マラルメ詩集 (岩波文庫) (1963) — Author — 1 copy
青空 (2017) 1 copy

Associated Works

Critical Theory Since Plato (1971) — Contributor, some editions — 393 copies
Tomorrow's Eve (1886) — Contributor, some editions — 231 copies
Great French Short Stories (1946) — Contributor — 71 copies
The Second Dedalus Book of Decadence the Black Feast (1992) — Contributor — 47 copies
Debussy : Prelude to "the afternoon of a faun" (1970) — Contributor — 41 copies
Translations (1997) — some editions — 31 copies
Decadence and Symbolism: A Showcase Anthology (2018) — Contributor — 8 copies


Common Knowledge



blaueswild | Nov 22, 2023 |
This is an excellent translation of Mallarme's collected poems. It provides an entry into the poet's world for those who are not fluent in the French language.
1 vote
jwhenderson | Feb 21, 2023 |
These carefully-curated writings span from 1863-97.

“Apparition” (1863) establishes him as an obvious genius right out of the gate. Some of its heart-rending imagery includes “vaporous flowers,” “dying violins,” “white sobs,” “the perfume of sadness,” and “white bouquets of perfumed stars.” (That last one is its final line, and you can see how it seamlessly brings together three topics used previously in the poem.)

The next year, he picked up right where he left off with “The Azure” (1864), which is tumultuously exciting. This homage to the blue canopy lurking above us culminates alarmingly with
“It travels ancient through the fog, and penetrates
Like an unerring blade your native agony;
Where flee in my revolt so useless and depraved?
For I am haunted! The Sky! The Sky! The Sky! The Sky!”

The translation of “Sigh” (1864) somewhat reconfigures it, boldly taking it from 10 lines to 14 while keeping the same approximate number of words. The translator, Frederick Morgan, manages to brilliantly tease out some rhymes (“sky” & “eye,” “leaves” & “cleave”) that weren’t necessarily set up to rhyme in the original structure. I’m guessing this is why he decided to mold the clay on the way that he did. I can’t recall ever seeing this done before.

The enigmatic and dreamlike effort “Lace Passes Into Nothingness…” (1884) could be called ambient poetry. Its pacing and precision brings to my mind Emily Dickinson.

The collection concludes spectacularly with the avant-garde “Dice Thrown Never Will Annul Chance” (1895), using an array of font sizes and text splashed across the pages to truly throw the gauntlet down. This proto-Dadaist splurge, superior to Ginsberg’s “Howl” in my opinion, even has its own two-page preface, by Mallarmé himself.

This book presents each poem except for “Dice…” in French on the left pages and English on the right. (The prose is only given in English.) Evidently Mallarmé’s writing style is challenging to translate, as fifteen different translators were recruited, each giving his or her own twist to each item, so it helps to know a good bit of French, as I luckily do.

As Eliot, Baudelaire, and Neruda did to me some years ago, this slim book has rekindled my love of the written word and fired up my imagination to levels that should be illegal. It’s that great. Now to acquire everything this guy ever put to paper…

RIYL: Baudelaire, Neruda, Shakespeare’s sonnets, Jim Morrison, 1980s gothic rock / ethereal wave lyricists
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YESterNOw | 2 other reviews | Aug 25, 2022 |
There's much in Mallarme that I'm not particularly fond of: portentous art-for-art's-sakeness, tiring decadence, and the combination of those two, naturally.

On the other hand, this excellent little volume gives you the French, with not entirely awful English translations, at a reasonable price, and the French gives even poor French readers like myself the means to find the gold in Mallarme. Being able to see the full range of his poetry, in French, meant that I could finally place him where he deserves to be, among the great nineteenth century poets in English, to wit, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, and G. M. Hopkins. And maybe Browning.

The problem with 19th century poetry, for me, is its extraordinary inability to take seriously either humor, or other people (excluding those people you were or would like to be schtupping), and the dreariness of its forms, all harnessed towards some very boring end. Enough with the elegies, people. I'd thought Mallarme was one of them, albeit a very talented one. Instead, it turns out, Mallarme is a nonsense poet with a rather inflated sense of the importance of poetry. Consider the first stanza of "Prose" (pour des Esseintes):

Hyperbole! de ma memoire
Triophalement ne sais-tu
Te lever, aujourd'hui grimoire
Dans un livre de fer vetu:

On the one hand, it combines both of my pet peeves; on the other, it's only slightly more meaningful than outgrabing mome raths, and just as much fun to read.

This gleeful nonsensicality is everywhere, but mostly in the occasional or obviously minor poems. In "Billet," Mallarme manages to rhyme rebattu and tutu.

Of course Un Coup de des is a masterpiece and forward thinking and all that. But give me the glee.
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stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |



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