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And Jules Laforgue made his first literary friends amongst the Hydropathes around 1880.He too has a claim to the invention of “free verse.” The poems, songs, and monologues that were performed or recited in the cabarets combined social criticism with irony and self-mockery; the language used was a mix of popular or vulgar words and sentences, full of argot and newly formed words, paired-off with unconventional rhyme and poetical structures.In the poems of – nowadays generally acknowledged – writers such as Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Valéry, Gustave Kahn, and Jules Laforgue (to name a few) – experimental innovations can be found that are similar to the nouvéautés in the poems and songs that were performed in the cabarets.

In recent years though, this view has made way for a more serious approach, in which their work is being linked to that of the avant-garde movements of the 1920s and 1930s.

(1) Apart from that, it is easy to overlook the links that existed between the groups of artists and writers that gathered in the so-called cabarets artistiques of Montmartre, and the artists and writers who are nowadays considered as the founders of modern art and literature.

Cabarets such as the Chat Noir attracted Hydropathes-poets and -novelists such as Charles Cros, Alphonse Allais, and Jules Lévy, along-side with singers like Jules Jouy and Maurice Mac-Nab and actors like Coquelin Cadet.

But more established poets such as Jean Moréas, Léon Bloy, and Paul Verlaine were also regular visitors, and the same goes for Gustave Kahn and Jules Laforgue.

Moréas is considered to be the “founder” of symbolism.

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