Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo

Jean -Joseph Rabearivelo ( born March 4, 1901 in Antananarivo, † June 22, 1937 ) was a Malagasy writer and translator.

His work has not been translated into German.

Life and work

Rabearivelo was born out of wedlock. Like his mother belonged to Rabearivelo Merina nobility, which derives its origin from King Ralambo ( 1575-1610 ). He attended the school of " Frères des Ecoles chrétiennes " in Andohalo ( Antananarivo ) and the Jesuit school Saint -Michel in Amparibe that he had to leave for indiscipline at the age of 13 years. From then on he taught himself continuing, read books and have already been published in 1915 verses in the journal VAKIO ity under the pseudonym K. Verbal.

The various activities which he held as a teenager, left him much time for reading and granted him access to books and magazines. He was secretary and interpreter at the district administration in Ambatolampy; Signatory of draft tips for Anna governor, to whom he dedicated poems; then he supervised the library of the Cercle de l' Union, wrote chronicles of the bilingual journal Journal de Madagascar under the pseudonym Amance Valmond, first on Malagasy, then in French. The 1921 published verse drama " Le prince s'amuse " he dedicated to the poet Pierre Camo, who was then colonial official in Tananarive. In 1926 he married Marguerite Razafitrimo, called Mary, whose family in Tananarive had a photo studio. At this time he worked as a proofreader in the " Imprimerie de l' Imerina " which also printed poems by him. Together with his wife Mary, he has a son and four daughters, of whom one died at the age of two years.

Rabearivelo translated French poet ( Valéry, Verlaine, Rimbaud and Baudelaire in particular ) and Rilke, Poe, Tagore, Whitman, among others Malagasy. He also wrote for European magazines (including " Anthropos " in Vienna). In Tananarive were folk operas, which he had written the texts listed: 1935 "Aux portes de la ville ", and 1936 " Imaitsoanala, fille d' oiseau ".

His work is not the Malagasy understood and for the French colonialists he was a " native " whose familiarity with the French language and culture, she eyed rather suspiciously: Despite literary successes and numerous epistolary contacts with literary figures of his time to Rabearivelo felt an outsider. An invitation to the Paris World Exhibition of 1937 was withdrawn. Deeply disappointed, sick and penniless, he took the poet 's life. Until the end he kept a diary of the 1833 handwritten pages are in French, beginning in January 1933, received. This text, which documented his powerful reading experience and the commitment to the literature of his time, was released in 2010 in the first volume of the collected works.


  • La Coupe de Cendres, 1924
  • Sylves, 1927
  • Volumes, 1928,
  • Presque - Songes. Sari- Nofy. Ed. bilingue français - malgache .. Sepia -Verl., 2006. ISBN 2-84280-119-9
  • Traduit de la Nuit. Ed. bilingue français - malgache .. 2007. ISBN 978-2-84280-125-0
  • Chants pour Abeone, 1937,
  • Vieilles chansons des pays d' Imerina. Procedees d'une biographie du poète malgache par Robert Boudry. , 1939.
  • L' Interférence, 1989
  • Oeuvres completes. Part 1, 2010., Part 2, 2012