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Camille Mauclair

Camille Mauclair by Félix Vallotton, which appeared in Le Livre des masques by Remy de Gourmont (vol. II, 1898).)

Séverin Faust (December 29, 1872, Paris – April 23, 1945), better known by his pseudonym Camille Mauclair, was a French poet, novelist, biographer, travel writer, and art critic.[1]

Mauclair was a great admirer of Stéphane Mallarmé, to whom several works were devoted, as well as Maurice Maeterlinck.[2] He was initially a poet and novelist. His poetry attracted some attention, and was set to music by Ernest Bloch, Gustave Charpentier, and Ernest Chausson and Nadia Boulanger.[1][3] His best-known novel is Le Soleil des morts (1898),[1] a roman à clef containing fictionalized portraits of leading avant-garde writers, artists, and musicians of the 1890s, that has in retrospect been seen as an important historical document of the fin de siècle.[4] He also wrote several non-fiction books about music including Schumann (1906), The Religion of Music (1909), The History of European Music from 1850-1914 (1914) and The Heroes of the Orchestra (1921) which contributed greatly to French awareness of musical trends in turn-of-the-century Paris.[5]

As art critic at the Mercure de France, he is noted for his attacks on artists such as Paul Gauguin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, while nevertheless not scrupling to express his admiration when these became recognised.[6]

Later in life he wrote mainly nonfiction, including travel writing such as Normandy (1939), biographies of writers, artists, and musicians, and art criticism. In his art criticism, he supported impressionism and symbolism,[1] but disdained Fauvism, famously writing of the style (in a phrase borrowed from English art critic John Ruskin),[7] "a pot of paint has been flung in the face of the public".[8] He also provided the libretto for Antoine Mariotte's 3-act 'conte lyrique' Nele Dooryn, premiered at the Opéra-Comique in 1940.[9]

At the end of his life, he collaborated with the Vichy France-regime, and worked for the Grand Magazine illustré de la Race : Revivre.[10]

He was also a cofounder of the Théâtre de l'Œuvre with Lugné-Poe.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e
  2. ^ Bertrand Marchal (1998), Mallarmé, Presses Paris Sorbonne ISBN 2-84050-120-1
  3. ^ Nadia Boulanger, Ten Songs, Hildegard Publishing Co.
  4. ^
  5. ^ R.H. Yeoland (2009) La Contribution Litteraire de Camille Mauclair Au Domaine Musical Parisien, ISBN 0-7734-4860-8
  6. ^ Marketing Modernism in Fin-de-siècle Europe, p. 334, at Google Books
  7. ^ [1], from the Tate, retrieved April 12, 2009
  8. ^ Retrieved from on February 29, 2008.
  9. ^ Wolff S. Un demi-siècle d'Opéra-Comique (1900-1950). André Bonne, Paris, 1953.
  10. ^

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