Apollinaire 1880 - 1918 (38)

Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.


Song for Lue

Guillaume Apollinaire was an important French poet, critic and novelist of the early 20th century. He was born on August 26, 1880 in Rome, the illegitimate son of a Polish aristocrat who lived an adventurous life and she was addicted to casino games. They lived in Nice, Cannes, Cote d'Azur, Guillaume went to many different schools; after finishing high school he worked for a while as a bank clerk and later as a tutor in Germany. In 1903 he settled in Paris, determined to make a literary career. He founded a magazine, began writing poetry and collaborated with newspapers and magazines writing reviews and articles. He quickly became very popular in the artistic circles of Montmartre, as he was a strong personality with a lot of knowledge. He promoted the work of many unknown artists and supported the contemporary painting movements, provoking the ridicule of other critics of his time.

He published a collection of short stories in 1910, while in 1909, 1911 and 1913, he published collections of poems, especially with the latter he was established as a poet. Among other things, he wrote an erotic novel that was banned until 1970 and was circulated illegally until then. In September 1911, he and Picasso were unjustly accused of trying to steal the Mona Lisa, and he was imprisoned for five days. In 1914 he got engaged but as soon as World War I broke out he volunteered and left for the front. In 1916 he was wounded in the head by fragments of mortar and returned to Paris on sick leave. His friends saw a different Apollinaire, circulating with a bandaged head and military clothes, displaying the medal he had won due to his injury and giving passionate patriotic speeches. He wrote a play urging the French to have more children to strengthen the nation, and on November 9, 1918, he died suddenly of the Spanish flu.