Jules Supervielle

Jules Supervielle (* 16. January 1884, Montevideo; † 17. May 1960, Paris) was a poet, author of stage works and Kurzgeschichten, who in French language - however in Spanish tradition sealed. Topics Supervielles are the longing after lucky childhood, after the spatial width of its South American homeland and after a cosmic agreement of humans with the world.

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Supervielles baskische parents to Uruguay had emigrated, in order to create a bank there. Eight months after its birth die it during an attendance in the native Béarn both at a poisoning. The young Jules grows in Montevideo up to the ninth Lebensjahr unknowingly as an orphan with uncle and aunt up both respective brothers and sisters of its genuine parents. The exposure of the death of its true parents moves it a life long. This experience takes the childlike world confidence to it; in addition again and again a life-threatening heart and lung weakness of humans very much largegrown come.

Although freely from money concerns, Supervielle finds late (~1920) its own clay/tone as a poet “between the worlds”. Rapidly it is promoted owing to good friends (under it Jean Paulhan, Henri Michaux, the literature scientist René Étiemble) and due to frequent stays in Uruguay to the mediator between South American and French literature. It translates García Lorca and Jorge Guillén into the French.

Because of its language talent during the First World War used in the French counter-espionage, Supervielle contributes to unmasking the spy Mata Hari : On a letter behind the words “Aqui pongo un beso” (=Hierhin I press a kiss) it deciphered a report in invisible ink.

Supervielle is surprised by the outbreak of the Second World War 1939 in Uruguay; there it maintains connections with French exile writers. As a citizen of both countries he is appointed 1946 the uruguayanischen Kulturattaché in Paris. That saves it from destitution, after the family bank had broken down. The father of six children is at the end of his life member in numerous literary juries, 1960 from contemporaries to the “Prince of the poètes” is selected.

With 76 years Supervielle of its lifelong heart and lung weakness succumbs.


as an only considerable German translator argued Paul Celan with 35 of its poems. Although a detailed exchange of letters with Rainer Maria Rilke is present, and although Pierre Bertaux admits it in Berlin with the brothers man and other writers made, Supervielle is well-known in the German-speaking countries little. The own picture language and the fastidious outside form in Supervielles verses may make a translation more difficult.

  • Verse forms:

Classical forms of the French poetry are renewed in many poems. By sections the author uses modern, free verse rhythms in the style Paul Claudels - more frequently however the lively there-jumping “verse Commun “and different combinations. The close pattern of the French Alexandriners renews Supervielle in addition thus that it accommodates also 14 syllables after Spanish sample therein or takes in account clayless syllables. The break in half of this verse is void occasionally, it by three-division is umspielt or by position in the midst of a word dissolved.

This open play with classical forms succeeds also with the sonnet, which it arranges both according to Shakespeares sample into three quartets and a double final line, and with two Terzetten at the conclusion arranged. The poet orients itself in addition at Spanish stamping machines and finds the Dezime similar, new short forms. In Supervielles poems appear important not the perfect form, but behind it visible dissonances and internmediate tones.

  • Reime:

Particularly in its Reimtechnik crosses Supervielle the classical rules with intention: The poet reimlose adds usually irregularly gereimten lines with male or female cadence; in addition it loves Assonanzen and Binnenreime.

  • Picture language:

The picture language of many poems affects only first view coded. Opposite the French Surrealisten Supervielle always differs by high comprehensibility, by logically which are connected metaphors and a conclusive Satzbau. Many contents are connected with the world of the travel, the water and the human body. Also geology and astronomy inspire it to impressive pictures, which it builds up to small fables in verse form.

Quotation: “La poésie, pour moi, c'est le concret. L'abstraction, à moins qu'elle ne soit singulièrement exaltée par le concret qui la précède et qui la suit, l'abstraction glace la poésie et la fait fuir. “ Translation: For me poetry is something concrete. If an abstraction is not out or is replaced by concrete, brings it nevertheless only solidification and the poetry verscheucht. (Œuvres of poétiques complètes, p. 1051)


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