Henri Michaux  

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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.

Henri Michaux (May 24, 1899, Namur - October 18, 1984, Paris) was a highly individualistic Belgian poet, writer and painter who wrote in the French language. Michaux is best-known for his stories about Plume - "a peaceful man" - perhaps the most unenterprising hero in the history of literature, and his many misfortunes.

Esotericism

Michaux is best known for his esoteric books written in a highly accessible style, and his body of work includes poetry, travelogues, and art criticism. Michaux travelled widely, tried his hand at several careers, and experimented with psychoactive drugs, the latter resulting in two of his most intriguing works, Miserable Miracle and The Major Ordeals of the Mind and the Countless Minor Ones, exploring every facet of the inner experience - from the anguish of life's impermanence to the ecstasy of spiritual transcendence.

"A people, in fact, devoid of wisdom, of simplicity and of depth, over-serious, though fond of toys and novelties, not easily amused, ambitious, superficial and obviously doomed to our evils and our civilization." -- Henri Michaux on Japanese people in A Barbarian in Asia

Travels

In 1933, Henri Michaux visited Japan, China and India. The result of this travel is the book A Barbarian in Asia. Oriental culture became one of his biggest influences (the philosophy of Buddhism and the Oriental calligraphy later became the principal subject of many of his poems).

Later he traveled to Africa and then to the American continent, where he visited Ecuador and published there the book Ecuador. His travels across the Americas finished in Brazil in 1939, and he stayed there for two years.

Michaux is best-known for his stories about Plume - "a peaceful man" - perhaps the most unenterprising hero in the history of literature, and his many misfortunes.

In 1954 he became a citizen of France, and he lived the rest of his life there along with his family. In 1965 he won the National Prize of Literature, which he refused to accept. "Ma Vie" with English translation.

Works




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Henri Michaux" 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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