De Régnier, Henri 1864-1936
De Régnier, Henri 1864-1936
(Henri François Joseph de Régnier)
Born December 28, 1864, in Honfleur, France; died, 1936; married Marie de Hérédia, 1895.
Writer and poet.
Sites, Vanier (Paris, France), 1887.
Poèmes anciens et romanesques (title means "Ancient and Romanesque Poems"), Librarie de l'art indépendant (Paris, France), 1890.
Épisodes: sites et sonnets, Vanier (Paris, France), 1891.
Tel qu'en songe (title means "As in a Dream"), Librairie de l'art indépendant (Paris, France), 1892.
Le bosquet de Psyché, P. Lacomblez (Brussels, Belgium), 1894.
Aréthuse (contains "Flûtes d'Avril et de Septembre" and "L'Homme et la Sirène"), Librairie de l'art indépendant (Paris, France), 1895.
Poèmes, 1887-1892 (containsPoèmes anciens et romanesques, Tel qu'en songe, and several other poems), Société de Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1897.
Médailles d'argile (title means "Clay Medals"), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1900, reprinted, 1930.
L'amour et le plaisir (title means "Love and Pleasure") P. Dauze (Paris, France), 1906.
Esquisses vénitiennes (title means "Venetian Sketches"), illustrated by Maxime Dethomas, Collection de L'art Décoratif (Paris, France), 1906.
La Sandale ailée, 1906, translation by Flora Brent Hamilton published asPoems from the Winged Sandal, B. Humphries (Boston, MA), 1933.
Le Miroir des heures, 1906-1910 (title means "Mirror of Hours"), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1910.
(With Maurice Demaison) Corquis de Paris (1914-1915), Plon-Nourrit (Paris, France), 1917.
1914-1916 [Mille neuf cent quatorze-mille neuf cent sieze] poésies, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1918.
Vestigia Flammae, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1921.
Le miracle du fil: seize sonnets, Simon Kra (Paris, France), 1927.
Flamma genax, 1922-1928, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1928.
Also author of Lendemains (title means "Aftermaths"), 1885; Apaisemente (title means "Appeasement"), 1886; Les Jeux rustiques et divins(title means "Rustic and Divine Games"), 1897; La Citée des eaux (title means "The City of Waters"), 1902; Le coffret rouge, (Paris, France), 1916;Odelettes, (Paris, France), 1917.
Lexique de la langue de J. de La Fontaine, Hachette (Paris, France), 1892.
Stuart Merrill, Librairie Vanier (Paris, France), 1892.
Contes à soi-même (stories), Librairie de l'art indépendant (Paris, France), 1894.
Le trèfle noir(story), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1895.
La canne de Jaspe (stories), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1897.
Romaine Mirmault (novel), Plon (Paris, France), 1900.
La Double Mâtresse (novel; title means "The Double Mistress"), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1900.
Figures et caractères, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1901.
Les amant singuliers, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1901.
Le bon plaisir (novel; title means "Good Pleasure"), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1902.
Le Marriage de minuit (novel; title means "Midnight Marriage"), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1903.
Les Vacance d'un jeune homme sage (novel; title means "The Vacation of a Well-Mannered Young Man"), Flammarion (Paris, France), 1903.
Les Rencontres de M. de Bréot (novel), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1904, translation by Slater Brown published as The Libertines, Macaulay (New York, NY) 1929.
Le passé vivant (novel; title means "The Living Past"), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1905.
Sujets et paysages, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1906.
La flambée (novel), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1909.
Lexique de la langue de La Rochefoucauld, Hachette (Paris, France), 1912.
Images Vénitiennes, Fontemoing (Paris, France), 1912.
Discours de réception à l'Académie Française prononcé le 18 janvier 1912, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1912.
Contes de France et d'Italie, G. Crè (Paris, France), 1912.
Pour les mois d'hiver (essays, memoirs, travelogue), Les Bibliophiles Fantaisistes, Dorbon-Ainé (Paris, France), 1912.
(Editor) Oeuvres choisies de Molière, Hachette (Paris, France), 1913.
Modes et manières d'aujourd'hui,illustrated by George Barier, Par Maquet (Paris, France), 1914.
Monsieur d'Amercoeur (stories), C. Crès (Paris, France), 1918.
L'Art moderne et quelques aspects de l'art d'autrefois (poems and criticism), Bernheim-Jeune (Paris, France), 1919.
Marceline; ou, La punition fantastique, A. Michel (Paris, France), 1921.
Les Scruples de Miss Simpson, A. Michel (Paris, France), 1921.
Les petits messieurs de Nèvres, Stock (Paris, France), 1923.
Scènes mythologigues, illustrated by Marty André-Edouard, "Le Livre" (Paris, France), 1924.
L'entrevue (novel), J. Ferenczi (Paris, France), 1924.
Choses et autres par ci, par là, E. Champion (Paris, France), 1925.
Le divertissement provincial (novel), A. Michel (Paris, France), 1925.
Paray-le Monial, Émile-Paul (Paris, France), 1926.
Vues, Le Divan (Paris,France), 1926.
Le veuvage de Schéhérazade, Éditions de la Lampe d'Aladdin (Liège, Belgium), 1926.
Contes pour chacun de nous, illustrated by A. Mayeur, Lapina (Paris, France), 1926.
Contes vénitiens, illustrated by A. Mayeur, Société d'édition "Le Livre," (Paris, France), 1927.
"Donc," Éditions du sagittaire (Paris, France), 1927.
Lui: ou, Les femmes et l'amour, Kra (Paris, France), 1928.
Sept médailles amoureuses, Le Centaine (Paris, France), 1928.
L'initiation véitienne, illustrated by Georges Lepape, Société des amis des livres (Paris, France), 1929.
Jeux de plume, Cahiers Libres (Paris, France), 1929.
Le vrai bonheur: ou Les amants de Stresa, Éditions des Horizons de France (Paris, France), 1929.
Faces et profiles: Souvenirs sur Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, Jules Laforque, Stéphane Mallarmé (biography), J. Bernard, "La Centaine" (Paris, France), 1931.
Escales en Méditerranée(travelogue), Flammarion (Paris, France), 1931.
Lettres diverses et curieuses écrites par plusieurs à l'un d'entre eux, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1933.
Moi, elle et lui, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1935.
Madame Récamier (biography), A. Michel (Paris, France), 1936.
Le paradis retrouvé (selected stories), M. d'Hartoy (Paris, France), 1937.
Lettres à André Gide (1891-1911) avec 5 brouilons de letters d'André Gide à Henri de Régnier (letters) Minard (Paris, France), 1972, published asCorrespondance (1891-1911), Presses universitaires de Lyon (Lyon, France), 1997.
Poèmes (selections), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1981.
(With Pierre Loti) Constantinople fin de siècle (contains author's Devant Stamboul, Éditions Complexe (Brussels, Belgium), 1991.
Also author of J.-K. Huysmans, (Paris, France), 1892;Le Bon Plaisir [and] La Peur de l'amour (novel; title means "Good Pleasure" and "Fear of Love"), Clamann-Lévy, (Paris, France); Les Lauriers de la Montagne, with Knaz Petar Crne II and Divna Vekovic, (Paris, France), 1917; Les trois fils de Madam de Chasans, (Paris, France), 1923.
Oeuvres (poems), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1913, Slatkine Reprints (Geneva, Switzerland), 1978.
Oeuvres de Henri de Régnier, seven volumes, Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1914-31.
L'oeuvre Romanesque de Henri de Régnier (novels; six volumes), Éditions du Trianon (Paris, France), 1929-31.
Romans costumés (containsLa Double mâtresse, Les rencontres de M. de Bréot, La pécheresse, and L'escapade), Mercure de France (Paris, France), 1992.
Les cahiers: inedits, 1887-1936,Pygmalion (Paris, France), 2002.
Works have been translated into several languages, including Italian, Japanese, Russian, Norwegian, Spanish, and German.
Some of Régnier's poems were set to music by Albert Roussel, who also composed one movement of his Joueurs de flûtes about a character in a Régnier novel.
French writer Henri de Régnier is remembered for verse that reflects the various trends of his time, including the styles of the Parnassians, the symbolists, and the neoclassical school. He also composed short stories and novels that were written in a mannered style and took place in past centuries. A younger generation of writers, including André Gide and Marcel Proust, looked to the author for inspiration early in their own careers.
Régnier's early collections of poetry, Lendemains, Apaisemente, and Sites,demonstrate a Parnassian style. The Parnassians, in reaction to romantic and naturalist poetry, wrote verse that was written for its own sake, rather than to send a message. It was intellectual and self restrained, often described the outer beauty of nature or of an object, and often made reference to antiquity. Rhythm was of supreme importance. After this stage, Régnier's verse took on a symbolist cast, employing more fluid language and invoking rather than describing. His works in this vein include Poems from the Winged Sandal and Le Miroir des heures, 1906-1910. The author used such constructions as parallelisms, antitheses, and pronouns whose antecedents were unclear. Another hallmark of his symbolist work was the use of multiple adjectives, often contrasting ones to describe the same noun. After 1900 Régnier's verse took a departure from the previous style; it became neoclassical, that is, it again employed the Parnassian ideals of verse. This return is thought to have been in response to his father-in-law José Maria de Heredia, a poet who was inspired by the remote past. The author's last verse publications, Vestigia Flammae and Flamma genax, 1922-1928, display the poet's refinement and the somberness that he had long endured. Henry de Paysac, in his article for the Bulletin des Amis d'André Gide, related that the author had suffered from excessive melancholy since his childhood and that it is "this exaggerated feeling of melancholy that imbues his poetry and gives it its charm."
Régnier also wrote short stories and novels, and after 1900 he focused on prose to the detriment of verse. His first book-length published prose was the 1904 collection of short stories La canne de Jaspe. In it appeared "Monsieur d'Amercoeur," which Modern Philology contributor Mario Maurin described as "one of the meticulous, mannered, finicky narratives" gathered in this collection. Paysac remarked that the author often patterned characters after his ancestors, friends, family, and himself by combining details of various people into a composite. So too, he used events from his own life and those of others. Paysac noted: "A person could easily write Régnier's biography by drawing on his novels." The author was meticulous in his style, a fact that Gide recognized in his review of La Double Mâtresse for La Revue Blanche."He is one of the only people who writes," Gide is quoted as saying by Paysac. "He has love for and takes care in using our language."
Régnier explained his prose writing process to Paul Léautaud, author of the 1904 biography Henri de Régnier. "First I find a subject, a point of departure and its outcome. It's usually a visual subject. Then I create characters. I make some very short notes about these characters. Then I leave everything and I think. Little by little I put together the scenes, giving the book the broad outline, but leaving huge gaps, in characters or plot, which I do not worry about. Then, one day I start to write, very quickly, without rereading, in an almost illegible way." Régnier went on to note: After this first draft, it's all there, more than enough usually, but it's written in gibberish. Then I recopy and redo it." The author added that he then does another final revision.
Régnier's first novel, La Double Mâitresse, was published serially inL'écho de Paris before it appeared in book form. It is one of only a handful to be reprinted in French during the 1990s, along with The Libertines, La pécheresse, andL'escapade.
In 1997, the author's correspondence with André Gide was annotated and republished. AssessingCorrespondance (1891-1911) for the Modern Language Review,D.A. Steel remarked of the author's prose: "When he occasionally rises above the simply polished, the reader senses it is in response to a better letter from his correspondent."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Léautaud, Paul, Henri de Régnier, Sensot (France), 1904.
Maurin, Mario, Henri de Régnier, Presses del'Université de Montréal (Montreal, Quebec, Canada), 1972.
Richard, Noël and Gerhard Damblemont, Louis Le Cardonnel: pélerin de l'Invisible [and] Henri de Régnier: gentilhomme symboliste, A. Rebours (Paris, France), 1986.
Bulletin des Amis d'André Gide, October, 1999, Henry de Paysac, "Gide et Régnier en Bretagne," pp. 315-327.
Bulletin Marcel Proust, Volume 41, 1991, David J. Niederauer, "Six lettres de Marcel Proust à Henri de Régnier," pp. 5-23.
Modern Language Review,January, 1975, D.A. Steel, review of Lettres à André Gide (1891-1911) avec 5 brouilons de lettres d'André Gide à Henri de Régnier, pp. 195-196.
Modern Philology, February, 1985, Mario Maurin, "The Planter's French Connection: An Appropriation by Joseph Conrad," pp. 304-309.
Paideuma, spring, 1986, John Espey, "Some Notes on ‘The Return,’" pp. 33-39.
Revue d'Histoire Litteraire de la France,January-Feburary, 2000, Jean Milly, "Proust et Henri de Régnier: Modes Proustiens de l'Intertextualité," pp. 27-44.
Romance Notes, spring, 1979, Mario Maurin, "Figures du saltimbaque dans les romans de Henri de Régnier et Émile Henriot," pp. 307-312.
Yeats Eliot Review, summer-fall, 1988, Margueritte Murphy, "Henri de Régnier's ‘L'Escalier’: The Hidden Stairway of T.S. Eliot's Ash Wednesday," pp. 178-182.
Music of Albert Roussel,http://www.opus1.com/~ehoornaert/roussel/regnier.htm (June 9, 2006), "The Henri de Régnier Song."
Old Poetry,http://oldpoetry.com/ (June 9, 2006), brief biography of author.