Simona AN‘s Today’s Memory
Anna de Noilles’ birthday
Originally shared by Simona AN
Anna de Noailles
15 November 1876, Paris – 30 April 1933, Paris
In full Anna-Élisabeth de Noailles, Princess Brâncoveanu, Countess Mathieu was a poet, a leading literary figure in France in the pre-World War I period. The daughter of a Romanian prince (Grégoire Bibesco-Bassarab) and a Greek noble mother (the former Ralouka Mussurus, a musician, to whom the Polish composer Ignacy Paderewski dedicated several of his compositions), she adopted France and its language for her life and writings even before her marriage to a French count.
Her friends included the novelists Marcel Proust and Colette and the poets Paul Valéry and Jean Cocteau. In her literary salon she kept most of the writers of her time under the spell of her artful conversation.
Starting with her first collection, Le Coeur innombrable (The Numberless Heart, 1901), which was crowned by the Académie Française, Noailles composed nine volumes of poetry, among which Les Éblouissements (Resplendence, 1907), and L’Honneur de souffrir (The Honour of Suffering, 1927), three novels (among which the delightful Le Visage émerveillé, 1904), a book combining novellas with a series of meditations on gender relations, Les Innocentes, ou La Sagesse des femmes, (1923), a collection of prose poems, Exactitudes, (1930), and an autobiography spanning her childhood and adolescence, Le Livre de ma vie, (1932). Her lyricism draws from the Romantic themes of the 19th-century poets Alfred de Vigny and Alphonse de Lamartine. Her later works reflect her fear of the thought of the inevitable collapse of her physical powers. She was made a commander of the Légion d’Honneur and elected to the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature of Belgium.
Portrait of Anna de Noailles, by Jean Louis Forain 1914
Second picture: From left to right, standing: Prince Edmond de Polignac, Princess of Brancovan, Marcel Proust, Prince Constantin Brancoveanu (brother of Anna de Noailles), Léon Delafosse.
2nd row: Madame de Montgenard, Princesse de Polignac, Countess Anna de Noailles
1st row: Princess Helen Caraman-Chimay (sister of Anna de Noailles), Abel Hermant
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