A Reader's Guide to Fifty Modern European Poets

By John Pilling | Go to book overview

Tristan Corbière (1845-75)

Born Édouard-Joachim Corbiére near Morlaix in Brittany, the son of a sea-captain who published Poems and novels. Suffered from rheumatism as a child and from tuberculosis from the age of fifteen. A celebrated eccentric and practical joker in the Roscoff of his young manhood, where he fell in love with the Italian actress mistress of a French Count, who removed her to Paris in 1871. Himself moved to Paris in early 1872, where he spent much of his time with the Count and his mistress. Returned to Brittany, where his father paid for the printing of his solitary collection of poems Les Amours Jaunes ( 1873), which was completely ignored by the public. Became gravely ill in Paris, and was taken home by his mother to Morlaix, where he died a few months before his father. Discovered by Verlaine in 1883, who included him in Les pontes maudits ( 1884), and later by the young T. S. Eliot. Much admired by the Surrealists, but still an equivocal figure for the majority of the French literary establishment. A recurrent minor presence in Anglo-American literature where he tends, however, to be overshadowed, by the equally shortlived and equally unconventional Jules Laforgue.

Corbière's life and work conform so exactly to the received idea of the poète maudit or 'cursed' Poet that it seems natural to regard him as a kind of archetype defining an otherwise superfluous, or at best inexact, descriptive term. It was not until nine years after his death, in 1884, that Corbière was rescued from oblivion and assured of something resembling a posterity by Paul Verlaine, who included an essay on him

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A Reader's Guide to Fifty Modern European Poets
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 7
  • Preface 9
  • Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) 13
  • Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-98) 23
  • Paul Verlaine (1844-96) 32
  • Tristan Corbière (1845-75) 40
  • Arthur Rimbaud (1854-91) 47
  • Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933) 56
  • Stefan George (1868-1933) 64
  • Christian Morgenstern (1871-1914) 73
  • Paul Valéry (1871-1945) 80
  • Hugo Von Hofmannsthal (1874-1929) 88
  • Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) 97
  • Antonio Machado (1875-1939) 108
  • Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) 118
  • Aleksandr Blok (1880-1921) 127
  • Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958) 136
  • Umberto Saba (1883-1957) 143
  • Dino Campana (1885-1932) 150
  • Gottfried Benn (1886-1956) 158
  • Georg Trakl (1887-1914) 166
  • Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) 173
  • Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970) 181
  • Pierre Reverdy (1889-1960) 190
  • Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) 197
  • Boris Pasternak (1890-1960) 206
  • Osip Mandelstam (1891-1938 215
  • César Vallejo (1892-1938) 225
  • Marina Tsvetaeva (1892-1941) 234
  • Vladimir Mayakovsky (1893-1930) 243
  • Paul Éluard (1895-1952) 259
  • Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) 266
  • Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) 276
  • Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956) 284
  • Jorge Luis Borges (born 1899) 292
  • George Seferis (1900-71 ) 301
  • Salvatore Quasimodo (1901-68) 308
  • Lucio Piccolo (1901-69) 316
  • Attila József (1902-37) 324
  • Pablo Neruda (1904-73) 333
  • René Char (born 1907) 344
  • Cesare Pavese (1908-50) 351
  • Yannis Ritsos (born 1909) 360
  • Octavio Paz (born 1914) 368
  • Johannes Bobrowski (1917-65) 376
  • Paul Celan (1920-70) 383
  • Vasko Popa (born 1922) 392
  • Yves Bonnefoy (born 1923) 400
  • Yehuda Amichai (born 1924) 408
  • Zbigniew Herbert (born 1924) 416
  • Joseph Brodsky (born 1940) 424
  • Bibliographies 432
  • Index 461
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