Living within the Parisian artistic milieu during the period of the Belle-Epoque, Camille Mauclair (1872-1945), French novelist, poet, biographer, literary and arts critic, was an acute observer of the various protagonists who shaped the cultural, social and political essence of that era. Mauclair became closely attached to the symbolist group of poets, writers, painters and musicians who gathered around the poet, Stephane Mallarme, meeting at his apartment each Tuesday evening. Consequently, both the poetry and prose of the young Mauclair became imbued with a symbolist style. Readers will recognize, under disguise, such people as Stephane Mallarme, Pierre Louys, James McNeill Whistler, Auguste Rodin, Claude Debussy, Paul Verlaine, Catulle Mendes, Paul Adam, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Georgette Leblanc, Loie Fuller and Camille Mauclair himself. However, over time, Camille Mauclair became aware of the isolationist "ivory tower" attitude of this elite group this novel is a reflection of his own increasing dissatisfaction with the hermetic intellectualism of this elite group. He was increasingly convinced that his own artistic works should express concepts that would improve and educate society. In 1897, Mauclair severed his links with the symbolists and the novel Le Soleil des morts (Sun of the Dead) was written at this critical turning point in his thinking.
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Dr. Rosemary Yeoland received her Ph.D. in the field of French literature at the University of Tasmania. She currently teaches part-time in the French section of the Department of English, Journalism and European Languages at the University of Tasmania.Review:
"Dr. Yeoland's translation and thorough annotations represent the first attempt to offer all, scholars and students alike, in the English-speaking world and beyond, the opportunity to discover a French writer, famous in his years, and to acquaint themselves with the epoch he so precisely reported on; thus broadening this field of study and expanding its scope." - Dr. Agne Hafez-Ergaut, School of Humamities, University of Tasmania. "Dr. Yeoland's translation and edition of the work is timely. The translation is seamless and reads extremely well. Her extensive and scholarly introduction to the novel provides pertinent insights into Mauclair's life and the novel's subject matter, and reveals an intimate knowledge of the people and events of the period... Aficionados and scholars of French literature and culture will welcome Dr. Yeoland's translation of Mauclair's Le Soleil des morts. - Dr. Ralph Spaulding, University of Tasmania.
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