Coming from the old archives or personal collections of Henry D., one can find, sold individually, numerous letters from Stuart MERRILL in particular, but also from other French or English writers of the time, editors, directors of literary journals, etc.A signed autograph letter from Stuart MERRILL. 1 sheet of blue paper folded in the center forming 4pp.
Very good overall condition, clean. Usual folds and minor stains on edges. Regarding the literary and artistic life of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His real name is Henry Durand, and he is also known by pen names.Henry Davray was, in the early 20th century, a prominent popularizer of English literature by translating and introducing the works of Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Frank Harris, H. Wells, Joseph Conrad, and George Meredith. He created several journals, the most well-known being the Anglo-French Review. After World War I, his efforts in spreading English prose made him the most famous Frenchman in British literary circles, where he settled in 1940 after being made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by King George VI. Davray was responsible for the "English Letters" section of Mercure de France starting in 1896.
He was the first translator of "De Profundis" and "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" by Oscar Wilde in 1898, and he also translated a large part of H's works into French from 1898 to 1912 (including the famous "The War of the Worlds"). A literary critic, journalist, translator, and writer, Henry Durand-Davray was born on August 14, 1873 in Gennevilliers and died on January 21, 1944 in London. He was a French translator and literary critic specializing in English literature at the prestigious Parisian journal Mercure de France, translating the works of H.Wells, Rudyard Kipling, Oscar Wilde, and Yeats into French. During World War I, he served as a war correspondent and official delegate of the French government. He was the brother-in-law of the painter Georges Dola. Born to a father from Vosges, Jean-Lucien-Henry Durand, a gardener, and an Occitan mother who worked as a chambermaid and then a cook, he developed a deep aversion to Germany and an attraction to England from a young age, where he spent most of his vacations.
He studied English at the Sorbonne, but failed to obtain a degree due to his extended absences. Nevertheless, he acquired a vast culture that allowed him to integrate and evolve in artistic, political, and literary circles in both London and Paris. He became acquainted with numerous writers, especially those belonging to H.
Wells' circle: Arnold Bennett and Joseph Conrad. In 1917, he was one of the founders of the Anglo-French Society, which aimed to promote the Entente cordiale; his friends affectionately nicknamed him "the tunnel under the English Channel." When Oscar Wilde, after being released from prison in 1897, stayed in Naples for a while, Henry-D. Davray met him, having obtained his address, Villa Giudice at Pausilippe, thanks to Ernest Dowson, a close friend of the writer. The two men met again by chance when, towards the end of his life, Oscar Wilde was in need.
Having had to cancel an appointment to receive him, Wilde asked Davray for money and offered him a dedicated copy of John Webster's "The Duchess of Malfi" in exchange. Stuart Merrill, a symbolist and anarchist poet, spent his childhood in Paris, where his father belonged to the US embassy. At the Condorcet high school, he was classmates with some of the future symbolists, including René Ghil, André Fontainas, and Éphraïm Mikhaël, among others. He was captivated by the French language and acquired a rich poetic culture.There, he became the spokesperson for French poetry, particularly Parnassianism, which strongly influenced him. At the same time, he familiarized himself with the prosody of the English language. He published his first collection of verses, "Les Gammes" (1887), at a time when a circle was forming around Mallarmé. The reference to music is evident, and like most other symbolists, he sought to use words as notes on a staff, as elementary sounds that would come together to form a song. While others, such as Ghil, found innovative techniques, such as verbal instrumentation, to achieve this musicality, Stuart Merrill borrowed the technique of alliteration from Anglo-Saxon poetry; he applied it systematically and quickly showed the limits of such a poetic approach. "Fastes" (1891) and "Petits Poèmes d'automne" (1895) still bear the mark of this prosodic work; however, Stuart Merrill gradually broke free from any influence: "Les Quatre Saisons" (1900) are already a much more personal and original evocation. Having settled definitively in France since 1890, Merrill wrote numerous articles about the symbolists on both sides of the Atlantic, contributing to their appreciation by the public. However, as a great admirer of the American poet Walt Whitman, he transitioned to a much more didactic poetry. "Une voix dans la foule" (1909) illustrates his love for humanity and his democratic ideals.
Language serves his conviction, and he gains a strength that is foreign to his early verses. The manifesto of symbolism, published by Jean Moréas on September 18, 1886, appeared while Stuart Merrill was in the United States, where he had returned after his father's death.From there, he corresponded with his French friends and sent his first poems for publication. "Passionate about social justice, involved in the Marxist movement, he was seen in the streets of New York selling leaflets denouncing the 'four hundred' of high society... Upon his permanent return to France, at the peak of symbolism, he published 'Les Fastes' in 1891 and 'Les Petits Poèmes d'automne' in 1895, opened a salon frequented by symbolists at his home on Quai de Bourbon in Paris, supported Oscar Wilde during his trial, and became enthusiastic about the Armenian cause and the defense of Captain Dreyfus. As a contributor to the journals La Plume and L'Ermitage, he linked his poetic writing to a political commitment under the sign of anarchism. "What gives strength to the symbolist theory is precisely its anarchy.
It only asks the poet to be meaningful, that is, individual, and to reveal himself, thought and emotion, through images as general as possible. Yes, symbolism is anarchy in literature; instead of curling up between two dates, like Mr. Zola, or burying oneself alive in a sarcophagus like Mr. Leconte de Lisle, it parades its glorious imagination through lands and ages, and cares little whether the riches it collects come from Golconda or Ophir." L'Ermitage, August 1893, p. It is thus understood that he is attached to liberated verse and free verse, freed from the constraints of meter. However, beyond the structure, it is inspiration that lies at the heart of his poetic approach: "Only the poet's talent justifies or condemns his metric.