Catulle Mendès

Last updated
Catulle Mendès
Portrait of Catulle Mendes.jpg
Born(1841-05-22)22 May 1841
Bordeaux, France
Died8 February 1909(1909-02-08) (aged 67)
Saint Germain, France
OccupationPoet
GenrePoetry
Literary movement Parnassianism
Spouse Judith Gautier
Jeanne Nette
Partner Augusta Holmès

Catulle Mendès (22 May 1841 – 8 February 1909) was a French poet and man of letters.

Contents

Early life and career

Of Portuguese Jewish extraction, Mendès was born in Bordeaux. [1] After childhood and adolescence in Toulouse, he arrived in Paris in 1859 and quickly became one of the protégés of the poet Théophile Gautier. He promptly attained notoriety with the publication in the La Revue fantaisiste (1861) of his Roman d'une nuit, for which he was condemned to a month's imprisonment and a fine of 500 francs. He was allied with Parnassianism from the beginning of the movement and displayed extraordinary metrical skill in his first volume of poems, Philoméla (1863). His critics have noted that the elegant verse of his later volumes is distinguished rather by dexterous imitation of different writers than by any marked originality. The versatility and fecundity of Mendès' talent is shown in his critical and dramatic writings, including several libretti, and in his novels and short stories. His short stories continue the French tradition of the licentious conte.

Personal life

A portrait of Mendes' daughters, Huguette, Claudine, and Helyonne, by Auguste Renoir, 1888, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art The Daughters of Catulle Mendes, Huguette (1871-1964), Claudine (1876-1937), and Helyonne (1879-1955).jpg
A portrait of Mendès' daughters, Huguette, Claudine, and Helyonne, by Auguste Renoir, 1888, at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

In 1866, Mendès married Judith Gautier, the younger daughter of his mentor Théophile. They soon separated, and in 1869 he began cohabiting with the composer Augusta Holmès with whom he had five children, including: [2]

The couple parted in 1886, and he later married the poet Jeanne Nette, who was to be his last companion. [3]

Death

Early on the morning of 8 February 1909, the body of Mendès was discovered in the railway tunnel of Saint Germain. He had left Paris by the midnight train on the 7th, and it is supposed that, thinking he had arrived at the station, he had opened the door of his compartment while still in the tunnel, although some biographers have suggested suicide. His body was interred at the Montparnasse Cemetery. [3]

Works

Collections of poetry

For theatre

Sarah Bernhardt as St. Theresa in La Vierge d'Avila (1906) Bernhardt-La-Vierge-d'Avila-1906.jpg
Sarah Bernhardt as St. Theresa in La Vierge d'Avila (1906)

In the same year, Catulle Mendes wrote in Le Figaro that it was after reading the book of Gobineau "Les Religions et les Philosophies dans d´Asie centrale" that he had the idea to write a drama about the first woman disciple of the Báb: the persan erudite and illustrious poet Tahéreh (Táhirih) [4]

Critical works

Le NU au SALON , 1900 (published in 1901). The cover image is of a painting by Jules Scalbert, gravure de Louis Geisler [fr]. Le.nu.au.salon.1900.jpg
Le NU au SALON, 1900 (published in 1901). The cover image is of a painting by Jules Scalbert, gravure de Louis Geisler  [ fr ].

Novels

Books in English

Related Research Articles

Théophile Gautier French writer

Pierre Jules Théophile Gautier was a French poet, dramatist, novelist, journalist, and art and literary critic.

Paul M. A. Charles Paray was a French conductor, organist and composer. He is best remembered in the United States for being the resident conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for more than a decade.

André Theuriet French poet and novelist

Claude Adhémar André Theuriet was a 19th-century French poet and novelist.

Augusta Holmès French composer

AugustaHolmès was a French composer of Irish descent. At first she published under the pseudonym Hermann Zenta. In 1871, Holmès became a French citizen and added the accent to her last name. She herself wrote the lyrics to almost all her songs and oratorios, as well as the libretto of her opera La Montagne Noire and the programmatic poems for her symphonic poems including Irlande and Andromède.

Paul Vidal French composer, conductor and music teacher (1863-1931)

Paul Antonin Vidal was a French composer, conductor and music teacher mainly active in Paris.

Paul Armand Silvestre French poet and conteur

Paul-Armand Silvestre was a 19th-century French poet and conteur born in Paris.

Judith Gautier French poet and historical novelist

Judith Gautier was a French poet, translator and historical novelist, the daughter of Théophile Gautier and Ernesta Grisi, sister of the noted singer and ballet dancer Carlotta Grisi.

Charles Le Goffic French poet, novelist and historian

Charles Le Goffic was a Breton poet, novelist and historian whose influence was especially strong in his native Brittany. He was a member of the Académie française.

Le Parnasse contemporain is composed of three volumes of poetry collections, published in 1866, 1871 and 1876 by the editor Alphonse Lemerre, which included a hundred French poets, such as Leconte de Lisle, Théodore de Banville, Heredia, Gautier, Catulle Mendès, Baudelaire, Sully Prudhomme, Mallarmé, François Coppée, Charles Cros, Léon Dierx, Louis Ménard, Verlaine, Villiers de L'Isle-Adam and Anatole France.

Alphonse Lemerre 19th-century French editor and publisher

Alphonse Lemerre was a 19th-century French editor and publisher, known especially for having been the first to publish many of the Parnassian poets.

François-Augustin de Paradis de Moncrif French writer

François-Augustin de Paradis de Moncrif was a French writer and poet, of a family originally of Scots origin. He was appointed historiographer royal to Louis XV of France. His parody of owlishly pedantic scholarship, Histoire des chats, and the protection of the house of Orléans gained him entry to the Académie française. Maurepas records in his memoirs that at the induction ceremony, a member let loose a cat he had secreted in his pocket: the cat miaowed, the Académiciens miaowed and the serious oration dissolved in laughter.

Émile Bergerat French poet, playwright and essayist

Émile Bergerat was a French poet, playwright and essayist. He used the pseudonyms l'Homme masqué, Caliban and Ariel. A library in Neuilly-sur-Seine opposite his flat bears his name.

Charles Grandmougin French poet and playwright

Charles-Jean Grandmougin was a French poet and playwright. He lived in Paris. Two of his poems appeared in the third and final volume of Le Parnasse contemporain (1876). His poetry has been set as songs by composers including Fauré, Chaminade, Pierné and Bizet. He was more well known as a librettist and translator for operas and oratorios. He wrote the libretto for César Franck's opera Hulda, set in 11th-century Norway, and based on the play Lame Hulda (1858) by Norwegian writer Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. He also wrote the libretto for La Vierge, an oratorio by Jules Massenet.

Marie Joseph Pain was a 19th-century French playwright, poet and essayist.

Bernard Lopez de Roberts was a 19th-century French playwright of Spanish origin.

Paul Alexandre Delair was a 19th-century French playwright, poet, chansonnier and novelist.

Louis Péricaud French chansonnier and actor

Louis Jean Péricaud was a 19th-century French stage actor, chansonnier, playwright, theatre historian and theatre director.

Léonie Yahne French actor and stage actor

Léonie Yahne was a French comedic actress.

Auguste de Châtillon was a French painter, sculptor and poet. He was born and died in Paris. He, Théophile Gautier, Gérard de Nerval and Arsène Houssaye formed the "bohème du Doyenné".

References

  1. "Mendès, Catulle". JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
  2. "Auguste Renoir | The Daughters of Catulle Mendès, Huguette (1871–1964), Claudine (1876–1937), and Helyonne (1879–1955) | The Met". metmuseum.org. The Metropolitan Museum of Art . Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  3. 1 2 "Biografía de Catulle Mendès". Iesxunqueira1.com. Retrieved 2013-12-13.
  4. "À La Hauteur" Isma Forghani ISBN   978-2-343-17990-2 l´Harmattan