Jules Laforgue: Les Complaintes

(1708 words)
  • Samuel Douglas Bootle (University of Durham)

Les Complaintes [The Laments] is almost certainly the best-known of Jules Laforgue’s works, although it remains somewhat peripheral to the canon of nineteenth-century French poetry. Within his own œuvre it is of central importance: later works such as the Derniers Vers [Final Verses] might be seen to supersede it in terms of accomplishment, but the formative nature of the aesthetic shift inaugurated by Les Complaintes cannot be understated. Most of the collection was written between November 1882 and August 1883. At this time, Laforgue was in Germany, working as the French reader to the German Empress Augusta. As well as allowing him sufficient time to work on his poetry, this position also gave him …

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Bootle, Samuel Douglas. "Les Complaintes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 March 2011
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=24180, accessed 30 September 2016.]