Alfred de Musset

Alfred de Musset ( born December 11, 1810 in Paris, † May 2, 1857 ) was a French writer. He is regarded as one of the greats among the French Romantics.

Life and work

Musset grew up in Paris as well sheltered son of noble parents and completed his schooling with gloss in the tradition gymnasium Henri- IV. After this he began listlessly a law and then to study medicine, but operated mainly as a young man about town. In addition, he was a precocious poet who settled in the county to Victor Hugo, the " Cénacle " admire from 1828. Already in 1830 published the Contes d' Espagne et d'Italie (Eng. "Spanish and Italian narratives " ), a collection of extremely perfectly shaped poems in the style of romance, full of exoticism and exalted feelings.

1832, after the death of his father in the great typhus epidemic this year, he decided ( probably thanks to the inheritance) to live as a writer.

In 1833, he got six years older novelist George Sand and began to know her a romantic and passionate love affair. However, this ended soon on a joint trip to Italy ( Winter 33/34), when he fell ill in Venice and she cheated on him with the doctor. The deep crisis that triggered this with Musset, inspired him to write poems full of Weltschmerz (published collected as Nuits, dt " nights ", 1835 and 1837), but also on the autobiographical novel Confession d'un enfant du siècle (Eng. " Confessions of a young contemporaries", 1836), whose protagonist is Octave one of those typical romantic, ie disillusioned themselves and their environment problematic hero.

Already since 1830 Musset also wrote plays, which he after the failure of the first named piece ( La Nuit millfiori, dt " Venetian Night ", 1830), however, only certain to read and published in anthologies. So in 1832 and 34 per tape Spectacles dans un fauteuil published (Eng. " spectacles in a chair " ) and 1840 a ​​band Comédies et Proverbes (Eng. " comedies and proverbs ").

The most famous and still occasionally listed today are pieces Les caprices de Marianne (Eng. " Marianne's whims ," 1833), Fantasio (1834 ) and On ne pas avec l' amour badine (Eng. " With the love you jest not," 1834), as well as Lorenzaccio (1833 /34). The former act of unrequited love - a topic that the apparently slightly inflamed, but narcissistic Musset employed again and again. Lorenzaccio, the story of the perpetrators end up just frustrating tyrannicide, reflects the political disappointment Musset and many intellectuals of his generation, who had initially placed great hope in the July Revolution of 1830 and felt cheated when the regime of the new "Citizen King" Louis -Philippe was quickly co-opted by the big bourgeoisie and from 1832 acted increasingly authoritarian and repressive.

In addition to his numerous plays and his poetry Musset wrote in the most fruitful for him 1830s, a number stories. In 1838 he received a modest librarian item that bothered him a little, but assured him of a basic income in the Interior Ministry. From 1845, some of his chess problems have been published.

1840 caused a serious illness a deep slump. Then he suffered from frequent depression, wrote very little and took refuge in love affairs and alcohol consumption, which further worsened his condition. After all, he was awarded in 1845 the cross of the Légion d' honneur in 1847 and experienced the very successful performance of one of his plays, Un Caprice (Eng. " A whim / crazy idea", 1837). In 1852 he was elected to the Académie française after failed attempts in 1848 and 1850, which certainly helped that he had the new regime of Louis- Napoléon Bonaparte connected.

As a consistent performance Musset is now his dramatic work which he, after the failure at the beginning, not written with a view of the romantic theater doctrine just ruling, but on its own, temperate classical ideas. Because this ultimately proved to be crucial to the example the first of his more successful competitors Victor Hugo, whose plays have long been listed any more.

In German-speaking Musset was hardly known.