May 21, 2008

The lyrical studies of Banville

Well-acquainted with
Hugo and Gautier, friend of Baudelaire who greeted his talent since the publication of his first collection, Les Cariatides, Théodore de Banville goes against realistic poetry and rejects the drift of romanticism towards an easy and weepy style. For him, the beauty of poetry comes through a ceaselessly work on language. He called, besides, his poems collections lyrical studies. Both by his themes and his obsession with the purity of verse, he became one of the leaders of Parnassianism. His impressive work - 17 collections of poetry, rhyme plays, publications in periodicals - remains a model for many french poets of the second half of the 19th century. Banville also had a decisive influence on Mallarmé, Leconte de Lisle, Verlaine, Catulle Mendès, he regularly received at home. In 1871, he even housed Rimbaud, who was initiated to poetry with the journal Le Parnasse Contemporain, and who sent him several of his poems.

The publication in 1857 of Les Odes funambulesques marked a turning point in his style, more flexible, and brought him consecration. Les Nouvelles Odes Funambulesques, published in 1869, contain the famous poem "Promenade Galante" which, for the story, was set to music by Charles Koechlin.

Currently, The librairie Loliée offers :
  • Banville (Théodore de). Nouvelles Odes Funambulesques. Paris, Lemerre, 1869, in-12. First edition with a a frontispiece by Léopold Flameng. One of the 10 copies on Holland paper (with two more conditions of the frontispiece).