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Theophile Gautier

Tarbes 1811 - Neuilly-sur-Seine 1872


The French writer Théophile Gautier was born on August 30, 1811 in Tarbes and subsequently lived in Paris. Gautier attended the same secondary school as Gérard de Nerval. He initially wanted to become a painter and in 1829 joined the literary circles "Cénacle" surrounding Victor Hugo. Théophile Gautier attended the 1830 premier of Victor Hugo's piece "Hernani", he was fascinated and inspired by this form of performance. With his poems and tales Théophile Gautier became one of the main exponents of the Paris "Bohème", a circle of artists and men of literature, leading an unconventional life.
Théophile Gautier achieved his first major success with his epistolary novel "Mademoiselle Maupin". In the introduction to this novel, Gautier explained his theory of "l"art pour l"art", a purpose-free art. Théophile Gautier worked in the rapidly developing press and from 1836 he wrote reports on social highlights in art and literature, he also wrote popular travelogues.
For his research Gautier undertook travels to England, Holland, Belgium and the Mediterranean to collect impressions. With his collection of poems "Émaux et camées", which appeared in 1852 and served as a role-model to many subsequent poets, Théophile Gautier celebrated a further literary success. His later novels "Le Roman de la Momie" (1858) and "Le Capitaine Fracasse" (1863) were not able to build on the success of his earlier poetic work. On October 13, 1872 Théophile Gautier died in Neuilly-sur-Seine near Paris.


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