A Reader's Guide to Fifty Modern European Poets

By John Pilling | Go to book overview

Paul Valéry (1871-1945)

Born in Sète into a family of Venetian and Corsican origin. Educated at the lycée in Montpellier, where he took an interest in art and in classical civilization. Studied law at the age of seventeen, though he was primarily interested in mathematics, physics and music. Deeply influenced by Mallarmé, whom he met for the first time in Paris in 1891. His early poetry, which remained uncollected until 1920, was published in literary periodicals. Abandoned poetry, primarily in despair of emulating Mallarmé, in Genoa in 1892. Concentrated on severely intellectual pursuits for the next twenty years, during which time he was employed by several commercial companies. Married an intimate friend of Mallarmé's daughter in 1900 and became a private secretary to a businessman, thereby gaining security and sufficient leisure to pursue his studies. Inspired to return to poetry when André Gide approached him in 1912 asking for permission to reprint his early poems. Became famous overnight in 1917 on the publication of his longest and most difficult poem, La Jeune Parque, and consolidated his renown with the publication in 1922 of his collection Charmes. Devoted much of the last twenty-five years of his life to writing prose and prose poems, and to the speculative pages of his posthumously published notebooks. Elected to the French Academy in 1927 and appointed to the Chair of Poetry at the Collège de France in 1937. In bad odour with the authorities in Vichy France during the Second World War. Died soon after the Liberation of France, by which time he was one of the most respected of all modern European literary figures. His writings have been very influential on contempor-

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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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