Stéphane Mallarmé

Stéphane Mallarmé (* 18. March 1842 in Paris as Étienne Mallarmé, † 9. September 1898 in Valvin, the Vulaines sur Seine, close Fontainebleau) was a French writer. Its poems are considered as Hauptwerke of the symbolism, it apply with Rimbaud and Baudelaire as one of the most important Wegbereiter of the modern lyric poetry.

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Stéphane Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé
Stéphane Mallarmé, Fotografie von Nadar, 1896
Stéphane Mallarmé, photography of Nadar, 1896

Mallarmé was born as a son of an official family from Sens in Paris. After 1847 its nut/mother died, it buildup with grandparents. Starting from 1850 it lived in boardings school, became 1855 because of bad amounting to to dismiss and visited starting from 1856 a boarding school in Sens. 1857 died its younger sister. 1858 - 1860 developed first poems (64 poems under the title Entre quatre murs, dt. Between four moving). Briefly after its Abitur examination he became acquainted with the poets Emmanuel of the Essarts, Jean Lahor and Eugène Lefébure and makes friends themselves with these. In this time busy it also for the first time with Charles Baudelaires Fleurs you times and published itself first literature-critical articles in numerous different magazines, later also first own poems. He became acquainted with the German child girl Marie Gebhard, which he married 1863 in England, before he began an employment as an English teacher in Tournon sur Rhône (an occupation, which it should exercise up to its retirement 1893). 1863 were born its daughter Geneviève. Among its friends and acquaintance those ranked félibres Théodore Aubanel , Joseph Roumanille and Frédéric muck ral , which write in provenzalischer language , as well as Catulle Mendès and Mathias Villiers de l'Isle Adam in this time.

In a personal and artistic crisis he began 1864 its “life project” Hérodiade, in which he in a treatment of the Biblical Salome - material the search for the purity and beauty of the seal brings up for discussion. Its long, comprehensive poem L'après midi d'un faune he wrote finally 110 Alexandriner starting from 1865 in hope to let it come in the Théâtre Français into Paris to the performance which was however rejected. 1866 it could for the first time publish ten poems in the magazine Le Parnasse Comtemporain of the important poet circle of the Parnassiens around Théophile gau animal, whose view of literature it divided first. Among its acquaintance Leconte de Lisle and José Maria de Heredia ranked. It moved several times: 1866 after Besançon, where it began a correspondence with Paul Verlaine, and 1867 to Avignon, from where out it began with the publication its pro legend density.

In July 1871 its son Anatole in Sens was born. Shortly thereafter Mallarmé the long desired change from the province succeeded into the capital Paris. In this time he worked and. A. at translations of the works Edgar Allan Poes. 1872 he became acquainted with the young poet Arthur Rimbaud , and starting from 1873 he argued strengthened with the Impressionismus , lively by his friendship with the painter Édouard Manet. Also he became acquainted with Émile Zola by Manet. 1874 it published without success some numbers of the magazine La dernière fashion , whose only editor was he. Before several times of publishers rejected, 1876 appeared an expenditure of L'après midi d'un faune with illustrations Manets.

Since 1877 Mallarmé organized its soon already legendary Mardis (Tuesday meeting), with which it young for many years poets such as Émile Verhaeren, Maurice Maeterlinck, OSCAR savage, Joris Karl Huysmans, Paul Valéry, André Gide, W. B. Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke and Stefan George in its dwelling in the Rue de Rome received. 1878 he became acquainted with Victor Hugo .

1879 died its son Anatole in the infancy. 1883 were nähergebracht Mallarmés work by Verlaines Poètes maudits to a larger public. From 1884 to 1889 connected it a friendship and a dear relationship with Méry Laurent. 1886 it published its first poem without punctuation mark, M'introduire dans clay/tone histoire, and in the same year after Verlaines death to the Prince of the Poètes was selected. After its retirement it moved 1894 after Valvin, where it worked some years on different literary and theoretical projects and 1898 died. He was buried on the cemetery by Samoreau (Hauts-de-Seine).

characteristic and meaning

by the reading Hegels came Mallarmé to the view that, if „the sky is dead “, which does not have to be anything the starting point of the beautiful one and ideals. To this philosophy a poetry new in rhythm, Satzbau and vocabulary belonged according to to its opinion. Beyond L' kind pour he sees poésie pure (pure seal) going to l' kind of the poets around gau animal in the poetic language the only possibility of penetrating to pure ideas. The realistic describing lyric poetry of realism rejected Mallarmé, on the contrary it regarded the Suggestion as basis of the new poetry.

Édouard Manet: Stéphane Mallarmé

as symbolism designation, resembled its view of literature the Impressionismus in the forming art. Due to the extreme development of the suggestiven language in Mallarmés work it was called also „the Symbolistischste of the symbolists “. As Erneuerer of the French lyric poetry Mallarmés influence until today continues. Its doubts about the conventional function of language made it the Wegbereiter of the modern lyric poetry. Many of its ideas were taken up later by representatives of the Dadaismus , Surrealismus , Futurismus and Dekonstruktivismus ( for example Jacques Derrida) again.

By the often intentionally unclear style and the subtle relationship of writing, sound and importance its work applies as with difficulty translatable. With loud vintages associations and meanings audibly, which are not obvious in writing, for example can the words „ses purs ongles “(„their pure nails “) when hearing as „C' son “(„that is pure sound “) be understood est pure.

Not least the klangliche, musical quality of the language Mallarmés inspired important composers to Vertonungen of its works. A Hauptwerk of the musical Impressionismus is Claude Debussys Prélude à l' après midi D' un faune for orchestras (1894), by which Mallarmé was inspired and which 1912 also Wazlaw Fomitsch Nischinski choreographierten as basis of its for the Ballets of soot Balletts L' après midi D' un faune served. Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Darius Milhaud, Pierre Boulez and further composers toned poems Mallarmés than songs. To late works, like the Poem Un coup de put on as a word score dés and the fragment remained Igitur gives it remarkable, purely musical approximations and Anverwandlungen of Michael Denhoff.


  • Hérodiade (since 1864, Scène de Hérodiade 1896 publish fragments)
  • L'après midi d'un faune (1865, final version 1887, dt. Afternoon of a Fauns)
  • Les mots anglais (1878)
  • Les dieux antiques (1879)
  • Prosa (1880)
  • translations of works Edgar Allan Poes (1888)
  • Pages (1891)
  • La musique et les lettres (1891)
  • Le Tombeau de Charles Baudelaire (1895)
  • Divagations (1897)
  • Tombeau (de Verlaine) (1897)
  • Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hazard (1897)

in addition numerous literature-theoretical articles. Posthum appeared and. A. Poésies (1899), Pour un tombeau d'Anatole (1962) as well as letters (1959-1971).

German expenditures

  • Herodias. Over. by Stefan George, in: Contemporary poets. Berlin 1929.
  • All seals. With a selection of poetologischer writings. Over. the poems by Carl Fischer. dtv, Munich 1995 ISBN 3-423-02374-0 (French and German)
  • critical writings. Cutter, Gerlingen 1998 ISBN 3-7953-0907-7 (French and German)
  • translations of the poems and. A. also of Franz J. Nobiling, Fritz Usinger, Remigius Netzer, smelling pool of broadcasting corporations von Schaukal, short Reidemeister, Paul carouse


  • Hans Therre: Stéphane Mallarmé. dtv, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-423-31007-3 (biography)
  • Hella Tiedemann Bartels: Attempt over the artistic poem. Baudelaire, Mallarmé, George. 2. Aufl., edition text + criticism, Munich 1990
  • Paul Valéry: Over Mallarmé. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt/Main 1992, ISBN 3-518-22101-9
  • briefly wais: Mallarmé. Seal, wisdom, attitude. 2. A. Beck, Munich 1952

Web on the left of

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