Afternoon of a Faun (Nijinsky)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

L'après-midi d'un faune (or The Afternoon of a Faun) is a poem by the French author Stéphane Mallarmé. It is his best-known work and a landmark in the history of symbolism in French literature. Paul Valéry considered it to be the greatest poem in French literature.

Initial versions of the poem were written between 1865 (the first mention of the poem is found in a letter Mallarmé wrote to Henri Cazalis in June 1865) and 1867, and the final text was published in 1876 (see 1876 in poetry). It describes the sensual experiences of a faun who has just woken up from his afternoon sleep and discusses his encounters with several nymphs during the morning in a dreamlike monologue.

Mallarmé's poem formed the inspiration for the orchestral work Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune by Claude Debussy and the ballets Afternoon of a Faun by Vaslav Nijinsky, Jerome Robbins and Tim Rushton. The Debussy and Njinsky works would be of great significance in the development of modernism in the arts.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Afternoon of a Faun (Nijinsky)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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