Victor Segalen

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Victor segalen.jpg

Victor Segalen (14 January 1878 – 21 May 1919) was a French naval doctor, ethnographer, archeologist, writer, poet, explorer, art-theorist, linguist and literary critic.

He was born in Brest. He studied naval medicine in Bordeaux. He traveled and lived in Polynesia (1903–1905) and China (1909–1914 and 1917). He died by accident in a forest in Huelgoat, France ('under mysterious circumstances' and reputedly with an open copy of Hamlet by his side).


In 1934, the French state inscribed his name on the walls of the Panthéon because of his sacrifice for his country during World War I.[1]

He gave his name to the Victor Segalen Bordeaux 2 University of medicine, literature and social sciences in Bordeaux under the Academy of Bordeaux.

Works include[edit]

  • A dreuz an Arvor (1899)
  • L'observation médicale chez les écrivains naturalistes (Thesis, Bordeaux, 1901)
  • Les Immémoriaux (under the pseudonym Max Anély) (1907)
  • Stèles (prose poems, 1912)
  • Peintures (1916)

Posthumous publications:

  • Orphée-Roi (1921)
  • René Leys (1922)
  • Mission archéologique en Chine (in collaboration with Gilbert de Voisins and Jean Lartigue) (1923–1924)
  • Équipée. De Pékin aux marches thibétaines (1929)
  • Voyage au pays du réel (1929)
  • Lettres de Chine (1967)
  • La Grande Statuaire chinoise (1972)
  • Journal des îles (1978)
  • Essai sur l´exotisme (1978)
  • Le Fils du ciel : chronique des jours souverains (1985)

Works about Segalen[edit]

Segalen's photo of statuary near Xiao Xiu's tomb (1917)

External links[edit]


  1. ^ See Fiche officielle on the site