Mistral, Frédéric

Mistral, Frédéric
Mis·tral (mĭ-strälʹ, mē-), Frédéric. 1830-1914.
French writer and leader in the revival of Provençal as a literary language. He shared the 1904 Nobel Prize for literature.

* * *

born Sept. 8, 1830, Maillane, France
died March 25, 1914, Maillane

French poet.

A leader of the 19th-century revival of Provençal, Mistral cofounded the Félibrige, an influential association for maintaining the customs and language of Provence and later the whole of southern France. He devoted 20 years to creating a scholarly dictionary of Provençal. His literary output includes lyrics; short stories; Memoirs of Mistral (1906), his best-known work; and long narrative poems, including Mirèio (1859) and The Song of the Rhône (1897), his two greatest works. He shared the 1904 Nobel Prize for Literature with José Echegaray.

Frédéric Mistral, etching, 1864

By courtesy of the trustees of the British Museum; photograph, J.R. Freeman & Co. Ltd.

* * *

▪ French poet
born Sept. 8, 1830, Maillane, France
died March 25, 1914, Maillane
 poet who led the 19th-century revival of Occitan (Provençal) language and literature. He shared the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1904 (with José Echegaray y Eizaguirre (Echegaray y Eizaguirre, José)) for his contributions in literature and philology.

      Mistral's father was a well-to-do farmer in the former French province of Provence. He attended the Royal College of Avignon (later renamed the Frédéric Mistral School). One of his teachers was Joseph Roumanille, who had begun writing poems in the vernacular of Provence and who became his lifelong friend. Mistral took a degree in law at the University of Aix-en-Provence in 1851.

      Wealthy enough to live without following a profession, he early decided to devote himself to the rehabilitation of Provençal (Occitan language) life and language. In 1854, with several friends, he founded the Félibrige, an association for the maintenance of the Provençal language and customs, extended later to include the whole of southern France (le pays de la langue d'oc, “the country of the language of oc,” so called because the Provençal language uses oc for “yes,” in contrast to the French oui). As the language of the troubadours, Provençal had been the cultured speech of southern France and was used also by poets in Italy and Spain. Mistral threw himself into the literary revival of Provençal and was the guiding spirit and chief organizer of the Félibrige until his death in 1914.

      Mistral devoted 20 years' work to a scholarly dictionary of Provençal, entitled Lou Tresor dóu Félibrige, 2 vol. (1878). He also founded a Provençal ethnographic museum in Arles, using his Nobel Prize money to assist it. His attempts to restore the Provençal language to its ancient position did not succeed, but his poetic genius gave it some enduring masterpieces, and he is considered one of the greatest poets of France.

      His literary output consists of four long narrative poems: Mirèio (1859; Mireio: A Provencal Poem), Calendau (1867), Nerto (1884), and Lou Pouèmo dóu Rose (1897; Eng. trans. The Song of the Rhône); a historical tragedy, La Reino Jano (1890; “Queen Jane”); two volumes of lyrics, Lis Isclo d'or (1876; definitive edition 1889) and Lis Oulivado (1912); and many short stories, collected in Prose d'Armana, 3 vol. (1926–29).

      Mistral's volume of memoirs, Moun espelido (Mes origines, 1906; Eng. trans. Memoirs of Mistral), is his best-known work, but his claim to greatness rests on his first and last long poems, Mirèio and Lou Pouèmo dóu Rose, both full-scale epics in 12 cantos.

      Mirèio, which is set in the poet's own time and district, is the story of a rich farmer's daughter whose love for a poor basketmaker's son is thwarted by her parents and ends with her death in the Church of Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. Into this poem Mistral poured his love for the countryside where he was born. Mirèio skillfully combines narration, dialogue, description, and lyricism and is notable for the springy, musical quality of its highly individual stanzaic form. Under its French title, Mireille, it inspired an opera by Charles Gounod (1863).

      Lou Pouèmo dóu Rose tells of a voyage on the Rhône River from Lyon to Beaucaire by the barge Lou Caburle, which is boarded first by a romantic young prince of Holland and later by the daughter of a poor ferryman. The romance between them is cut short by disaster when the first steamboat to sail on the Rhône accidentally sinks Lou Caburle. Though the crew swims ashore, the lovers are drowned. Although less musical and more dense in style than Mirèio, this epic is as full of life and colour. It suggests that Mistral, late in life, realized that his aim had not been reached and that much of what he loved was, like his heroes, doomed to perish.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mistral, Frédéric — (1830 1914)    Provençal writer, Nobel laureate    A poet and Nobel laureate, Frédéric Mistral was born in Maillane, Bouches du Rhône. in his youth he became the friend of joseph roumanille, and together they vowed to revive the occitan language …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Mistral, Frédéric — ► (1830 1914) Poeta francés en lengua provenzal. El federalismo europeo tiene en él a uno de sus grandes inspiradores. Su labor fue sobre todo idealista y cultural como demuestra Lou tresor dou Félibrige, vasta recopilación de las lenguas de oc.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Frederic Mistral — Frédéric Mistral Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mistral. Frédéric Mistral Activité(s) Écrivain …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Frédéric Mistral — Frédéric Mistral, por Paul Saïn …   Wikipedia Español

  • mistral — [ mistral ] n. m. • 1625; mestral 1519; a. provenç. maestral « magistral », proprt « vent maître » ♦ Vent violent et froid qui souffle du nord ou du nord ouest vers la mer, dans la vallée du Rhône et sur la Méditerranée. Un coup de mistral. Le… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Frederic — Frédéric Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Frédéric est un nom propre ou plus rarement commun qui peut désigner : Sommaire 1 Nom commun 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mistral [2] — Mistral, Frédéric, neuprovenzal. Dichter, geb. 8. Sept. 1830 zu Maillane (Dep. Bouches du Rhône), lebt das., suchte die alte Sprache der Provenzalen wieder zu beleben und gründete die Félibre (s.d.), erhielt 1904 mit Echegaray zusammen den… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Frédéric Mistral — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Mistral. Frédéric Mistral …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Mistral, Gabriela — orig. Lucila Godoy Alcayaga born April 7, 1889, Vicuña, Chile died Jan. 10, 1957, Hempstead, N.Y., U.S. Chilean poet. Mistral combined writing with a career as a cultural minister and diplomat and as a professor in the U.S. Her reputation as a… …   Universalium

  • Mistral — (Del cat. ant. maestral.) ► adjetivo/ sustantivo masculino METEOROLOGÍA Viento que sopla en el litoral mediterráneo francés, de dirección intermedia entre poniente y norte o tramontana. TAMBIÉN maestral * * * mistral (del occit. «mistral») adj. y …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”