Gustave Kahn  

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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.

Gustave Kahn (December 21, 1859September 5, 1936) was a French Symbolist poet and art critic.

Kahn claimed to have invented the term vers libre, or free verse; he was in any case one of the first European exponents of the form; he wrote rhymed verse as well. His principal publications include Les Palais nomades, 1887, Domaine de fée, 1895, and Le Livre d'images, 1897. Kahn also made a valuable contribution to the history of the movement with his book Symbolistes et décadents, 1902.

In addition to his poems, Kahn was a public intellectual who wrote novels, plays, and literary criticism. He played a key role in a number of periodicals, including La Vogue, La Revue Indépendante, La Revue Blanche and Le Mercure de France. He was also an art critic and collector who stayed current with developments in painting and sculpture until his death. He also played a role in a number of debates on public issues, including anarchism, feminism, socialism, and Zionism. Rimbaud's poem Après le Deluge was published in the fifth issue of La Vogue.

Several of his poems were set to music by the composer Charles Loeffler.

Principal works

  • Palais nomades (1887)
  • Les Chansons d'amant (1891)
  • Domaine de fée (1895)
  • Le Roi fou (1896)
  • La Pluie et le beau temps (1896)
  • Limbes de lumières (1897)
  • Le Livre d'images (1897)
  • Premières poèmes (1897)
  • Le Conte de l'or et du silence (1898)
  • Les Petites Ames pressées (1898)
  • Le Cirque solaire (1898)
  • Les Fleurs de la passion (1900)
  • L'Adultère sentimental (1902)
  • Symbolistes et décadents (1902)
  • Odes de la "Raison" (1902 réédité aux Editions du Fourneau 1995)
  • Contes hollandais (1903)
  • La Femme dans la caricature française (1907)
  • Contes hollandais (deuxième série) (1908)
  • La Pépinière du Luxembourg (1923)
  • L'Aube enamourée (1925)
  • Mourle (1925)
  • Silhouettes littéraires (1925)
  • La Childebert (1926)
  • Contes juifs (1926 réédité chez "Les Introuvables" 1977)
  • Images bibliques (1929)
  • Terre d'Israël (1933)




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Gustave Kahn" 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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