18 July 1845|
Morlaix, Brittany, France
|Died||1 March 1875
Tristan Corbière (18 July 1845 – 1 March 1875), born Édouard-Joachim Corbière, was a French poet born in Coat-Congar, Ploujean (now part of Morlaix) in Brittany, where he lived most of his life and where he died.
His mother Marie-Angélique-Aspasie Puyo, 19 years old at the time of his birth, belonged to one of the most prominent families of the local bourgeoisie. His father was Antoine-Édouard Corbière, known for his best-selling novel Le Négrier. A cousin, Constant Puyo, was a well-known Pictorialist photographer.
During his schooling at the Imperial Lycée of Saint-Brieuc where he studied from 1858 until 1860, he fell prey to a deep depression, and, over several freezing winters, contracted the severe rheumatism which was to disfigure him severely. He blamed his parents for having placed him there, far from his family's care and affection. Difficulties in adapting to the harsh discipline of the college's noble débris (distinguished relics, i.e., teachers) gradually developed those characteristics of anarchic disdain and sarcasm which were to give much of his verse its distinctive voice. His work is also characterised by its idiomatic play and exceptional modernity which prompted many modernist poets to study him, after both T.S. Eliot (whose work he had a great influence on ) and Ezra Pound praised him.
His work was little known until Paul Verlaine included him in his gallery of poètes maudits (accursed poets), but Verlaine's recommendation was enough to get his work noticed and established him as one of the masters acknowledged by the Symbolists.
His only published verse in his lifetime appeared in Les amours jaunes, 1873. Corbière died of tuberculosis at the age of 29.
|French literary history|
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