Xavier Forneret  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Xavier Forneret (Beaune, September 16 1809 - August 7 1884) was a French writer; poet, playwright and journalist. In the 1830s, he was close to the Bouzingo, a group of poets who advocated a radical bohemian romanticism in life and art; contemporaries and kindred spirits included Gérard de Nerval and Théophile Gautier. His reputation was partly rehabilitated by André Breton, who included some of Forneret's poems and aphorisms in his Anthology of Black Humor. The Grand Prix de l'Humour Noir Xavier Forneret is named in his memory. He is perhaps best known for his poem "Un pauvre honteux".

Contents

Life

Born in a bourgeois family by the name Antoine Charles Ferdinand, he was one of the few members of the Romantic movement who never experienced poverty and could afford to publish his books himself. In his hometown, he became an advocate of the new art. Between 1837 and 1840 he lived in Paris. Spiritually, he was a member of the Bouzingo, a group of poets which advocated a radical bohemian romanticism in life and art; contemporaries and kindred spirits included Gérard de Nerval and Théophile Gautier, yet the Cénacle in the Rue du Doyenné never accepted him as a member, since the radical romantics saw him as an eccentric bourgeois with little talent. He returned to Beaune after the three years, living his life of a rich eccentric man (he lived in an old gothic tower which had all walls painted black and silver, played violin by open window all night, and slept in a coffin ). In 1848, he unsuccessfully tried to become a republican politician. He died aged 74, forgotten by both critics and readers.

Works

In 1835 he wrote two plays which were staged in Dijon. He paid for the staging; both were total commercial failures. During his years in Paris, he published books (with the text usually printed on one side of the paper only, in an enormously large font) which included poems, aphorisms, paradoxes, short prosaic pieces and maxims. He also published several short stories, usually parodies of the then fashionable frenetic (horror) style (in one of them, an unhappy man commits suicide by swallowing the glass eye of his mistress). All these books were self-published and ignored by readers.

Interest in his works started to appear after 1918. His reputation was partly rehabilitated by André Breton, who included some of Forneret's poems and aphorisms in his Anthology of Black Humor.

The Grand Prix de l'Humour Noir Xavier Forneret is named in his memory. Recent winners include Serge Joncour, Franz Bartelt and Tom Sharpe.

A collection of Forneret's work is to be published in 2007 under the title Écrits complets.

Select bibliography

  • Contes et récits
  • Deux destinées, 1834
  • L'homme noir, 1835
  • Vingt-trois. Trente-cinq, 1835
  • Rien... quelque chose, 1836
  • Sans titre, 1838
  • Vapeurs, ni vers ni prose et sans titre, par un homme noir, blanc de visage, (Vapours, neither poetry nor prose, written by a black man with a white face) 1838
  • Encore un an de "sans titre", 1840
  • Pièce de pièces, temps perdu, 1840
  • Voyage d'agrément de Beaune à Autun, 1850
  • Lettre à Victor Hugo, 1851
  • Lignes rimées, 1853
  • Mère et fille, 1854
  • L'infanticide, 1856
  • Ombre de poésie, 1860
  • Quelques mots sur la peine de mort, 1861
  • Broussailles de penséees, 1870
  • Écrits complets, 2007

Œuvres

Théâtre

  • Deux destinées, drame en 5 actes, Paris, Jean-Nicolas Barba, juillet 1834
  • Vingt-trois, trente-cinq, comédie-drame en 1 acte, Paris, Jean-Nicolas Barba, mai 1835 (première au théâtre de Dijon le 15 mars 1836)
  • L'Homme noir, drame en 5 actes, juin 1835 (première au théâtre de Dijon le Template:Date)
  • Mère et fille, drame en 5 actes, dont un prologue, Paris, Michel Lévy, mars 1855 (première représentation à Paris, au théâtre de Montmartre, le 25 janvier 1855)

Contes, récits, roman

  • Rien... - Quelque chose, Dijon, janvier-février 1836 (deux ou trois éditions)
  • La Lune donnait et la rosée tombait, Dijon, août 1836
  • Lanterne magique! Pièce curieuse!, paru dans Le Nouvelliste de Dijon et de la Côte d'Or, 17 novembre 1836, puis dans le Journal hebdomadaire de Belfort et du Haut-Rhin, 4 janvier 1839
  • Quelque chose du cœur, paru dans Le Nouvelliste de Dijon et de la Côte d'Or, 5 janvier 1837
  • Pièce de pièces, temps perdu, Paris, Eugène Duverger, avril 1840
  • Premier extrait d'un volume de Rêves, Beaune, janvier 1845 (perdu)
  • Deuxième extrait d'un volume de Rêves, Beaune, janvier 1846
  • Caressa, roman, Paris, juin 1858

Poésie

  • Vapeurs, ni vers, ni prose, Paris, Eugène Duverger, septembre 1838
  • Quelques-uns doivent dire cela (poème extraits de Vapeurs), janvier 1848
  • Aux électeurs de Beaune et à tous (poème imprimé sous forme d'affiche), 21 avril 1848
  • Lignes rimées, Paris, Dentu, juillet 1853
  • L'Infanticide, Dijon, mars 1856
  • Un crime d'enfer, février 1857 (perdu)
  • À Sa Majesté l'Empereur, mars 1858 (quatre exemplaires)
  • Ombres de poésie, Paris, avril 1860

Aphorismes

  • Sans titre, par un homme noir blanc de visage, Paris, Eugène Duverger, septembre 1838
  • Encore un an de Sans titre, par un homme noir blanc de visage, Paris, Eugène Duverger, avril 1840
  • Broussailles de la pensée, de la famille de « Sans titre », 1870

Divers

  • Réflexions sur la peine de mort, précédées d'une Lettre à M. Victor Hugo, Dijon, juin 1851 (rééd. Paris, février 1870)
  • Voyage d'agrément de Beaune à Autun, fait le 8 septembre 1850, Dijon, septembre 1851
  • 47 phrases à propos de 1852, Dijon, janvier 1852 (perdu)
  • Mon mot aussi (brochure gallicane), avril 1861

Éditions posthumes

See also




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