Poète maudit  

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A poète maudit (accursed poet) is a poet living a life outside or against society. Abuse of drugs and alcohol, insanity, crime, violence, and in general any societal sin, often resulting in an early death are typical elements of the biography of a poète maudit.

The first poète maudit, and its prototype, was François Villon (1431 - c. 1474) but the phrase wasn't coined until the beginning of the 19th century by Alfred de Vigny in his 1832 drama Stello, in which he calls the poet "la race toujours maudite par les puissants de la terre" (The race which will always be cursed by the powerful ones of the earth). Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud are considered typical examples. Lautréamont is also considered as a poète maudit.

The term came into wider usage since Verlaine's anthology Les poètes maudits. Originally it was used just for the writers in his book (see below), but then it became a name for writers (or even artists in general) whose lives and art are outside or against their society. For example, the poet and publisher Pierre Seghers published an anthology "Poètes maudits d'aujourd'hui: 1946-1970" (The accursed poets of today) in Paris in 1972, collecting authors such as Antonin Artaud, Jean-Pierre Duprey and 10 others, some of which (like Artaud) became very famous posthumously.

The term is also used outside France. An example is the Czech poet Karel Hynek Mácha or Polish poet Rafał Wojaczek, who commited suicide at the age of 26.

Les poètes maudits, anthology by Paul Verlaine

Les poètes maudits is a work by Paul Verlaine that was published in 1884.

The work is an homage to Tristan Corbière, Arthur Rimbaud, Stéphane Mallarmé, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Villiers de l'Isle-Adam and Pauvre Lelian (Paul Verlaine himself).

See also

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

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