Translated by Brian Stableford.
Presented here, for the first time in English, in a translation by Brian Stableford, are the complete prose poems of Éphraïm Mikhaël, a disciple of Mallarmé and an important member of the Symbolist Movement. Though he died when only twenty-three years old, of tuberculosis, Mikhaël made a significant contribution to the Movement. The works translated here only give a foretaste of the work the author might have gone on to do, but it is mature work, and its spectrum offers a reasonably comprehensive account of the author’s literary ambitions and philosophical attitude — the latter enviably colored by the disease that, as he was all too well aware, was gradually killing him.
Éphraïm Mikhaël was the form of his name adopted by Georges Michel, who attended Mallarmé’s mardis, and started a splinter group of his own, “Les Moineaux francs” [The House-Sparrows] in collaboration with his friend Bernard Lazare, whose members included Pierre Quillard and Saint-Pol-Roux. He published a small collection of poems, L’Automne in 1886 and wrote three plays, one in collaboration with Lazare and one with Catulle Mendès, before dying young of tuberculosis.