L'après-midi d'un faune (poem)

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Frontispiece for "L'après-midi d'un faune", drawing by Édouard Manet.
Stéphane Mallarmé as a faun, cover of the literary magazine Les hommes d'aujourd'hui, 1887

"L'après-midi d'un faune" (or "The Afternoon of a Faun") is a poem by the French author Stéphane Mallarmé. It is his best-known work and a landmark in the history of symbolism in French literature. Paul Valéry considered it to be the greatest poem in French literature.[1]

Initial versions of the poem were written between 1865 (the first mention of the poem is found in a letter Mallarmé wrote to Henri Cazalis in June 1865) and 1867, and the final text was published in 1876 (see 1876 in poetry). It describes the sensual experiences of a faun who has just woken up from his afternoon sleep and discusses his encounters with several nymphs during the morning in a dreamlike monologue.

Mallarmé's poem formed the inspiration for the orchestral work Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy and the ballets Afternoon of a Faun by Vaslav Nijinsky, Jerome Robbins and Tim Rushton. The Debussy and Njinsky works would be of great significance in the development of modernism in the arts.

Further reading[edit]

Translations[edit]

  • (English) The Afternoon of the Faun, translated by Roger Fry, in The Poems of Mallarmé, Chatto and Windus, 1936 OCLC 1616026
  • (English) A Faun in the Afternoon, translated by E.H. Blackmore and A.M. Blackmore, in Collected Poems and Other Verse, 2006
  • (English) Collected Poems: A Bilingual Edition, Stéphane Mallarmé, translated by Henry Weinfield, University of California Press, OCLC 9780520948112 (1st edition 1994 ISBN 9780520948112; 2nd edition 2011 ISBN 0520948114)
  • (Finnish) Faunin iltapäivä: valitut runot, Einari Aaltonen, 2006

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Weinfield, Henry. Stephane Mallarme, Collected Poems. Translated with commentary. 1994, University of California Press. Online version at GoogleBooks

Sources[edit]

Hendrik Lücke: Mallarmé - Debussy. Eine vergleichende Studie zur Kunstanschauung am Beispiel von „L'Après-midi d'un Faune“. (= Studien zur Musikwissenschaft, Bd. 4). Dr. Kovac, Hamburg 2005, ISBN 3-8300-1685-9.

External links[edit]