Paul Verlaine: His Absinthe Tinted Song, Page 14
by Bergen Applegate (1916).
1890 37. Femmes. Imprimé sous le manteau et ne se vend nulle part. in-18.
1904 91. Hombres. Imprimé sous le manteau et ne se vend nulle part. in-18.
1907 94. La Trilogie érotique de Paul Verlaine. (Amies, Femmes, Hombres). Paris et Londres. in-8.
Quinze eaux-fortes de Van Troizem et un avant-propos par un bibliophile verlainien.
It was the first of these, Les Amies (The Friends) dealing with female friendships of a Lesbian nature, which caused the order of arrest of the publisher, the redoubtable A. P. Malassis, of Brussels, publisher, also of Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal.
The destruction of Les Amies was ordered by the courts of Lille, May 6, 1868. Lepelletier, in his biography of the poet, writes of this book with much naïveté, as follows: "These Sonnets . . . are now inoffensive in consequence of later publications in France, both in prose and verse, by numerous writers on the same dangerous subject; but at that time (date of publication), even for a Poulet-Malassis it was an audacious undertaking."
Gautier said the inexpressible does not exist! Les Amies in their complete form are now included in most of Verlaine's works — that is, in other than the English language. The pseudonym, Pablo de Herlagnez, bears witness that youth is often more circumspect than age. Les Amies was published when the poet was quite young.
In 1899-1900 Vanier published in Paris five volumes of the poet's work. This edition consists of three volumes of verse and two of prose. The work is loosely edited and contains numerous errors. The general reader will find in the anthology of 1891, Choix de Poésies, (Charpentier et Fasquell. Paris, in-12) a good presentation of the poet's style. It contains also an excellent portrait by Eugène Carrière, and an admirable preface by François Coppée.
An edition de luxe of Fêtes Galantes was published in 1903 by Le Maison du Livre. Paris, in-8. This contains twenty-four drawings and an equal number of ornamentations by Roubadi.
• • • • •Dearest Décadent, to read the fifteenth page of this article,
Part second of the Bibliographic Verlainienne is given to notices of translations, critical studies, and the general diffusion of Verlaine's work, both in France and elsewhere. The notations in the chapter devoted to France and French speaking countries number two hundred and fifty-one.
In Hommage à Verlaine (Paris. Messein. 1910. in-4) is found a book containing the appreciation of sixty-six of the foremost writers of France, both men and women.
Verlaine's popularity in Spain is attested by an anthology of translations into Spanish by M. Machado, published in Madrid in 1908. This collection embraces practically all the poems worthy of preservation. There are several other Spanish anthologies less complete. Jiménez writes in the Helios (October, 1903) Pablo Verlaine y su novia la luna (Paul Verlaine and his bride the moon. Llanto en mi corazón. . . (It weeps in my heart) is set to music by R. Villar from words by E. Diez-Canedo. (Madrid et Bilboa. Casa-Dotesio.)
Bolivia, Argentina, Mexico, Santo Domingo and other Spanish-American countries know the poet
through translations by native writers.
In Italy Pica and Ermini have written much concerning the poet. There are no anthologies in book form. Lombroso pays his respect (?) to the poet in Nuovi studi sol genio (New studies on genius).
Roumania has only one collection of the poet's work in the anthology of D. Anghel and St. O. Josif. (Bucharest. "Minerva." 1903. in-16.)
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