Stéphane Mallarmé Self-Appointed Publisher of His Own Work: 1865-98, the Editorial Epic of The Afternoon of a Faun

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For Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-98), the making of the ideal book, which will evolve into a whole, begins with a sentence and is both a writing and publishing process which the poet must fully assume and control in order for the vessel to convey its necessary two dimensions or meanings, both material and poetic. The editorial epic of The Afternoon of a Faun (1865-98), provides a unique standpoint to observe that absolutist and innovative view of the book as a formal and substantive aesthetic unit, as a strategic site for encouraging a modern public to actively partake in the creative act leading to radically empowering reading experiences that anticipate interactive media prevalent in today’s culture. The study indeed retraces and exhibits the aesthetic concepts invested in the poet’s work, leading to a formal specific layout of the book and a taste for lavish editions that not everyone was ready to understand or to comply with – thus the unstable, often stormy relationships and lingering competition between renowned authors and their publishers – at a time, the end of the nineteenth century, where the latter have not reached the autonomous or even domineering position of their twentieth-century’s counterparts as co-author or influential master of authors’ fate.

Stéphane Mallarmé Self-Appointed Publisher of His Own Work: 1865-98, the Editorial Epic of The Afternoon of a Faun

in Quaerendo

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References

13

Bohac art. cit. (n. 4) pp. 152-3.

17

H. de Régnier February 1887quoted by J.K. Huysmans Écrits sur l’art 1867-1905 ed. P. Locmant (Paris 2006).

21

Code art. cit. (n. 10) pp. 493-554; D.J. Code ‘The Formal Rhythms of Mallarmé’s Faun’ Representations 86 (2004) pp. 73-119.

22

Code art. cit. (n. 10) p. 499.

24

Code art. cit. (n. 10) pp. 497-8.

27

Ibid. p. 257.

55

Mondor op. cit. (n. 12) p. 249.

57

Mondor op. cit. (n. 12) p. 210.

65

Mondor op. cit. (n. 12) p. 169.

68

Ibid. pp. 76-7.

69

Ibid. p. 86.

70

Ibid. p. 78.

71

Mondor op. cit. (n. 12) p. 173.

72

Ibid. p. 174.

97

B. Marchal ibid. p. 1379: ‘A real liturgical period over a five-year cycle (“Le lustre”) required for the complete execution of the “Book” at the rate of four to twenty sessions annually (each session consisting of two different readings).’

101

Ibid. p. 805.

106

Mondor op. cit. (n. 12) p. 219.

107

Ibid. p. 260.

115

Mondor op. cit. (n. 12) p. 223.

121

Wilson-Bareau Breon art. cit. (n. 4) pp. 258-307.

122

Ibid. pp. 270 272 274.

123

Mondor op. cit. (n. 12) p. 210.

126

Mondor op. cit. (n. 12) p. 261 preparatory notes for the 1899 edition of Poésies.

127

Ibid. p. 215.

138

B. Marchal‘Préface’Mallarmé (Paris 1998) p. 7.

139

Ibid. p. 14.

152

Code art. cit. (n. 10) p. 500.

156

Mondor op. cit. (n. 12) p. 259.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Felix Nadar, portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé (Copyright Private Collection)
  • View in gallery
    Stéphane Mallarmé, L’Après-midi d’un faune. Églogue. Paris, Alphonse Derenne, 1876: bookplate designed by Édouard Manet (Chancellerie des Universités de Paris, Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet)
  • View in gallery
    Stéphane Mallarmé, L’Après-midi d’un faune. Églogue. Paris, Alphonse Derenne, 1876: frontispiece by Édouard Manet and title-page (Chancellerie des Universités de Paris, Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet)
  • View in gallery
    Stéphane Mallarmé, L’Après-midi d’un faune. Églogue. Paris, Alphonse Derenne, 1876: illustration by Édouard Manet on first text page (Chancellerie des Universités de Paris, Bibliothèque littéraire Jacques Doucet)
  • View in gallery
    Advertisement in La Revue indépendante, March 1887, for an edition of nine booklets of 47 copies each, photolithography in facsimile of Mallarmé’s manuscripts of Poésies. The Faune is booklet no. 6, with a frontispiece by Félicien Rops (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, 796 G 6)
  • View in gallery
    Portrait of Stéphane Mallarmé by Luque on the front cover of Les Hommes d’Aujourd’hui, February 1887, edited by Léon Vanier (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, 9041 C 9)
  • View in gallery
    Beginning of ‘L’Après-midi d’un faune’ (p. 63) in Les poésies de S. Mallarmé. Bruxelles, Deman, 1899 (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, 827 D 4)
  • View in gallery
    Stéphane Mallarmé, ‘Un coup de dé jamais n’abolira le hasard’, Cosmopolis, février 1887, pp. 424-5 (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, 9295 A 6)
  • View in gallery
    Stéphane Mallarmé, ‘Un coup de dé jamais n’abolira le hasard’, Paris, Gallimard, 1914, pp. [21-2] (Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands, kw gw P100130)

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