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Stéphane Mallarmé
(18 mars 1842-9 septembre1898)

Stéphane Mallarmé was aFrenchpoet andwriter. Mallarmé was a major Frenchsymbolist poet and rightly famed for hissalons, occasional gatherings of intellectuals at his house for discussions of poetry, art, philosophy. Hisfin-de-siecle style is anticipatory of many of the developments in fusions between art and poetry which were to blossom in theDadaist,Surrealist andFuturist schools, where the tension between the words on the page and the way in which they were displayed was paramount. But whereas most of the latter work was concerned principally with form, Mallarmé's work was concerned with style and content: this is particularly evident in the highly innovativeUn coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard (trans. "A roll of the dice") of1897, his last major poem. Mallarmé is considered one of the French poets most difficult to translate into English. This is largely due to the inherently vague nature of much of his work.
For many years, the Tuesday night sessions in his apartment on the rue de Rome were considered the heart of Paris intellectual life asW.B. Yeats,Rainer Maria Rilke,Paul Valéry,Stefan George,Paul Verlaine, and many more held court with Mallarmé as the judge, jester, and king.
Mallarmé's poetry has been compared to music, and has been the inspiration for several musical pieces, notablyClaude Debussy'sPrélude à l'après-midi d'un faune (1894), a free interpretation of Mallarmé's poemL'Après-Midi d'un faune (1876) which creates powerful impressions by the use of striking but isolated phrases. Debussy also set Mallarmé's poetry to music inTrois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé (1913). Other composers to use his poetry in song includeMaurice Ravel (Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé, 1913),Darius Milhaud (Chansons bas de Stéphane Mallarmé, 1917) andPierre Boulez (Pli Selon Pli, 1957-62).

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%E9phane_Mallarm%E9Also see:

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