Aloysius Bertrand

Aloysius Bertrand was the writing pseudonym of Louis-Jacques-Napoléon Bertrand (April 20, 1807 in Ceva (Piedmont, Italy) – April 29, 1841 in Paris). He wrote a collection of poems entitled Gaspard de la nuit which composer Maurice Ravel wrote a suite of the same name, based on the poems, "Scarbo", "Ondine", and "Le Gibet". He introduced the prose poem into French literature and inspired Symbolist poets.

He was born in Ceva, Piedmont, Italy and his family settled in Dijon in 1814. There he developed an interest in the Burgundian capital. His contributions to a local paper lead to recognition by Victor Hugo and Sainte-Beuve. He lived in Paris shortly with little success. He returned to Dijon and continued writing for local newspapers. Gaspard was sold in 1836 but it wasn't published until 1842 after his death of tuberculosis. The book was rediscovered by Baudelaire and Mallarmé. It is now considered a classic of poetic and fantastic literature.

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