Rabéarivelo, Jean-Joseph

born March 4, 1901, Tananarive, Madag.
died June 22, 1937, Tananarive

Malagasy writer.

Largely self-educated, he earned his living as a proofreader for a publishing concern. He wrote seven volumes of poetry in French, of which Near-Dreams (1934) and Translation of the Night (1935) are considered the most important. The mythical and surrealistic world created in his poems is intensely personal and dominated by visions of death, catastrophe, and alienation. Harassed by French authorities and addicted to drugs, he committed suicide. He is regarded as the father of modern literature in his native land.

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▪ Madagascan author
born March 4, 1901, Tananarive, Madagascar
died June 22, 1937, Tananarive

      Malagasy writer, one of the most important of African poets writing in French, considered to be the father of modern literature in his native land.

      Rabéarivelo, a largely self-educated man who earned his living as a proofreader for the Imerina Printing Press, wrote seven volumes of poetry before his tragic death. Presque-Songes (1934; “Nearly Dreams”) and Traduit de la nuit (1935; “Translation of the Night”) are considered to be the most important. His early work is closely imitative of late 19th-century French poetry, especially that of Charles Baudelaire (Baudelaire, Charles) and of a literary group known as the Fantaisites, who wrote melancholy verse expressing a sense of futility. His later work is more remote and impersonal, retaining a Baudelairean sense of form but exhibiting a more mature, individual style. A final collection of poems, Vieilles Chansons du pays Imérina (“Old Songs of the Imerina Country”), published two years after his death, is based on poetic love dialogues (hain-teny) adapted from Malagasy vernacular tradition.

      The mythical world Rabéarivelo creates in his poetry is an intensely personal one dominated by visions of death, catastrophe, and alienation, which are all mitigated only occasionally by hope of salvation or resurrection. The overall impression is one of a surrealistic other world in which natural objects such as birds, trees, stars, cows, and fish have human emotions and human figures seem cosmic or semidivine.

      It is thought that disappointment at being unable to visit the France whose poets he so long admired, coupled with a melancholy temperament and drug addiction, were the causes of Rabéarivelo's suicide in 1937.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Rabéarivelo, Jean-Joseph — (4 mar. 1901, Tananarive, Madagascar–22 jun. 1937, Tananarive). Escritor malgache. En gran medida autodidacta, se ganaba la vida como corrector de pruebas para una empresa editorial. Escribió siete libros de poesía en francés, entre los cuales… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo — Jean Joseph Rabearivelo (* 4. März 1901 in Antananarivo; † 22. Juni 1937 ebenda) war ein madagassischer Schriftsteller. Leben Rabearivelo dichtete zunächst in klassischen, europäischen Formen, bevor er in den 30er Jahren mehr und mehr zu eigenen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Jean Joseph Rabearivelo — (1901 1937) is widely considered to be Africa s first modern poet. Born Joseph Casimir, on March 4, 1901 in Tananarive (now Antananarivo), the capital of Madagascar, just five years after the island nation had become a French colony, he was the… …   Wikipedia

  • Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo — Jean Joseph Rabearivelo, né Joseph Casimir (4 mars 1901, Tananarive aujourd hui Antananarivo 22 juin 1937, Tananarive), est un poète malgache, considéré comme le premier poète africain moderne. Il naquit dans la capitale de Madagascar juste cinq… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Joseph Rabearivelo — (* 4. März 1901 in Antananarivo; † 22. Juni 1937 ebenda) war ein madagassischer Schriftsteller. Leben Rabearivelo dichtete zunächst in klassischen, europäischen Formen, bevor er in den 30er Jahren mehr und mehr zu eigenen, afrikanischen und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • RABEARIVELO (J.-J.) — RABEARIVELO JEAN JOSEPH (1901 1937) Écrivain de langue malgache et de langue française, Jean Joseph Rabearivelo est devenu la figure littéraire majeure de Madagascar. Sa mort volontaire, soigneusement mise en scène, longtemps préparée par des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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