See also:miscellaneous writer, was
See also:born at
See also:Tarbes on the 31st of
See also:August 1811 . He was educated at the grammar school of that
See also:town, and afterwards at the
See also:College Charlemagne in
See also:Paris, but was almost as much in the studios . He very early devoted himself to the study of the older French literature, especially that of the 16th and the early
See also:part of the 17th century . This study qualified him well to take part in the Romantic
See also:movement, and enabled him to astonish Sainte-Beuve by the phraseology and
See also:style of some
See also:literary essays which, when barely eighteen years old, he put into the critic's hands . In consequence of this introduction he at once came under the influence of the
See also:great Romantic cenacle, to which, as to Victor Hugo in particular, he was also introduced by his gifted but
See also:ill-starred schoolmate
See also:Gerard de
See also:Nerval . With Gerard, Petrus
See also:Corot, and many other less known painters and poets whose personalities he has delightfully sketched in the articles collected under the titles of Histoire du Romantisme, &c., he formed a minor romantic clique who were distinguished for a
See also:time by the most extravagant eccentricity . A flaming
See also:crimson waistcoat and a great mass of waving hair were the outward signs which qualified Gautier for a chief
See also:rank among the enthusiastic devotees who attended the rehearsals of Hernani with red tickets marked "
See also:Hierro," performed mocking dances
See also:round fIe bust of Racine, and were at all times ready to
See also:exchange word or
See also:blow with the perruques and grisdtres of the classical party . In Gautier's case these freaks were not inconsistent with real
See also:genius and real devotion to sound ideals of literature . He began (like Thackeray, to whom he presents in other ways some striking points of resemblance) as an artist, but soon found that his true
See also:lay in another direction . His first considerable poem, Albertus (183o), displayed a
See also:deal of the extravagant character which accompanied rather than marked the movement, but also gave evidence of uncommon command both of language and imagery, and in particular of a descriptive power hardly to be excelled . The promise thus given was more than fulfilled in his subsequent
See also:poetry, which, in consequence of its small bulk, may well be noticed at once and by anticipation . The Comedic de la mort, which appeared soon after (1832), is one of the most remarkable of French poems, and `though never widely read has received the
See also:suffrage of every competent reader .
Minor poems of various
See also:dates, published in 184o, display an almost unequalled command over poetical
See also:form, an advance even over Albertus in vigour,
See also:wealth and appropriateness of diction, and abundance of the
See also:special poetical essence . All these good gifts reached their
See also:climax in the Emaux et camees, first published in 1856, and again, with additions, just before the poet's
See also:death in 1872 . These poems are in their own way such as in favour of " philosophic " treatment, comment upon him has sometimes been unfavourable . But this injustice will, beyond all question, be redressed again . He was neither immoral, irreligious nor unduly subservient to despotism, but morals, religion and politics (to which we may add science and material progress) were matters of no
See also:interest to him . He was to all intents a humanist, as the word was understood in the 15th century . But he was a humorist as well, and this combination, joined to his singularly kindly and genial nature, saved him from some dangers and depravations as well as some absurdities to which the humanist
See also:temper is exposed . As time goes on it may be predicted that, though Gautier may not be widely read, yet his writings will never cease to be full of indescribable charm and of very definite instruction to men of letters . Besides those of his
See also:works which have been already cited, we may
See also:notice Une Larme du diable (1839), a charming mixture of
See also:humour and tenderness;
See also:Les Grotesques (1844), a
See also:volume of early criticisms on some oddities of 17th-century literature; Caprices et zigzags (1845), miscellanies dealing in part with
See also:life; Voyage en Espagne (1845), Constantinople (1854), Voyage en Russie (1866), brilliant volumes of travel;
See also:Menagerie intime (1869) and Tableaux de
See also:siege (1872), his two latest works, which display his incomparable style in its quietest but not least happy form . There is no
See also:complete edition of Gautier's works, and the vicomte Spoelberch de Lovenjoul's Histoire
See also:des oeuvres de
See also:Theophile Gautier (1887) shows how formidable such an undertaking would be . But since his death numerous further collections of articles have been made: Fusains et eaux-fortes and Tableaux a la plume (188o); L'Orient (2 vols., 1881); Les Vacances du lundi (new ed., 1888); La Nature chez elle (new ed., 1891) . In 1879 his son-in-
See also:law, E .
Bergerat, who had married his younger daughter Estelle (theelder, Mme
See also:Judith Gautier—herself a writer of distinction—was at one time Mme Catulle Mendes), issued a biography, Theophile Gautier, which has been of ten reprinted . With it should be compared Maxime du
See also:Camp's volume in the Grands Ecrivains
See also:francais (189o) and the numerous references in the Journal des
See also:Goncourt . Critical eulogies, from Sainte-Beuve (repeatedly in the Causeries) and Baudelaire (two articles in L'
See also:Art romantique) downwards, are numerous . The chief of the decriers is Emile
See also:Faguet in his Etudes litteraires sur le XIX' siecle . In 1902 and 1903 there appeared two respectable
See also:academic doges by H . Menal and H . Potez . (G .
EMILE THEODORE LEON GAUTIER (1832-1897)
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