Other literary forms

(European Poets and Poetry)

Tristan Corbière (kawr-BYEHR) is known only for his poetry. Corbière did not publish in any other literary form, but he was a very talented caricaturist.


(European Poets and Poetry)

During his lifetime, Tristan Corbière’s poetry received little notice. Although Corbière published only one book of poetry, These Jaundiced Loves, and did not write any theoretical works or participate in a cenacle (writer’s group) or in a poetical movement, his work has played a significant role in the development of French Symbolist poetry. In 1881, his cousin Pol Kalig brought Corbière’s work to the attention of Léo Trézenic, who was publishing an avant-garde review with Charles Morice. They showed the poems to the poet Paul Verlaine, one of the review’s contributors. Verlaine not only was impressed by Corbière’s poetry but also immediately recognized him as one of the major poets of the time. He included Corbière in his Poètes maudits (1884; The Cursed Poets, 2003) along with Arthur Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé, Gérard de Nerval, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, and himself under the anagram Pauvre Lelian. Consequently, Corbière’s work became known in contemporary poetic circles.


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Lehmann, A. G. The Symbolist Aesthetic in France, 1885-1895. 2d ed. Folcroft, Pa.: Folcroft Library Editions, 1974.

Mitchell, Robert L. Corbière, Mallarmé, Valéry: Preservations and Commentary. Saratoga, Calif.: Anma Libri, 1981.

Mitchell, Robert L. Tristan Corbière. Boston: Twayne, 1979.

Quennell, Peter. Baudelaire and the Symbolists. 2d rev. ed. Freeport, N.Y.: Books for Libraries Press, 1971.

Smith, Grover. “Tourneur and Little Gidding; Corbière and East Coker.” Modern Language Notes 65 (1950).

Sonnenfeld, Albert. Tristan Corbière and the Moral Structure of “Les Amours jaunes.” Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms, 1969.

Starkie, Enid. From Gautier to Eliot: The Influence of France on English Literature, 1851-1939. 1960. Reprint. St. Clair Shores, Mich.: Scholarly Press, 1971.

Widmer, Kingsley. The Literary Rebel. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1965.