Léon-Paul Fargue  (1876 - 1947)

Fargue was a poet, notably good-looking in his youth, who had 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 1911 under the title Tancrède. An opponent of the surrealists, he was noted for his poetry of atmosphere and detail. He was also a poet of Paris, and later in his career he published two books about the city, D'après Paris (1931) and Le piéton de Paris (1939); he used to share long walks through the city with Ravel.

In his teenage years, Fargue formed an attachment to Alfred Jarry, so intense that their parents tooks steps to separate them. He later became well-known for his affairs with women, but he did not marry until he was 60. He was a member of the Apaches and remained a lifelong friend of Ravel. One of his 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]).

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