Léon-Paul Fargue  (1876 - 1947)

Fargue was a poet. Born in Paris, he met Alfred Jarry at school and visited the salon of Mallarmé in his early years as a writer. He published his first poems in L'Art littéraire in 1894, then in Pan. His first important collection appeared in 1895 under the title Tancrède. An opponent of the surrealists, he was noted for his poetry of atmosphere and detail. He also wrote about Paris, and published two books about the city, D'après Paris (1931) and Le piéton de Paris (1939).

From 1902 Fargue made the acquaintance of Ravel as a member of the Apaches and they remained lifelong friends. They shared a love of taking long walks through Paris. One of Fargue's early poems, Rêves, was set to music by Ravel in 1927.

Ravel had previously dedicated to him Noctuelles, a movement of Miroirs; the title refers to a line by Fargue:
    "Les noctuelles d'un hangar partent d'un vol cravater d'autres poutres."

In 1949, Fargue published Maurice Ravel, an affectionate record of his recollections about Ravel with many interesting observations, but the book needs to be read with caution because of its considerable number of factual errors. (Fargue [1949]).

www.maurice-ravel.net