Pierre LOUYS

Family tree of Pierre LOUYS

Author, Poet

FrenchBorn Pierre LOUIS

French poet and writer

Born on December 10, 1870 in Ghent, Belgium , Belgium

Died on June 06, 1925 in Paris, France

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Pierre Louÿs was born in Ghent, Belgium, but moved to France where he would spend the rest of his life. He studied at the Ecole Alsacienne in Paris, and there he developed a close friendship with a future Nobel Prize winner and champion of homosexual rights, André Gide. In the 1890s, he became a friend of the noted English dramatist and homosexual, Oscar Wilde. Although heterosexual, Louÿs enjoyed entree into homosexual circles.



Louÿs started writing his first erotic texts at the age of 18, at which point he developed an interest in the Parnassian and Symbolist schools of writing.

...   Pierre Louÿs was born in Ghent, Belgium, but moved to France where he would spend the rest of his life. He studied at the Ecole Alsacienne in Paris, and there he developed a close friendship with a future Nobel Prize winner and champion of homosexual rights, André Gide. In the 1890s, he became a friend of the noted English dramatist and homosexual, Oscar Wilde. Although heterosexual, Louÿs enjoyed entree into homosexual circles.



Louÿs started writing his first erotic texts at the age of 18, at which point he developed an interest in the Parnassian and Symbolist schools of writing.



In 1891, Louÿs helped found a literary review, La Conque, where he proceeded to publish Astarte - an early collection of erotic verse already marked by his distinctive elegance and refinement of style. He followed up in 1894 with another erotic collection in 143 prose poems - Songs of Bilitis (Les Chansons de Bilitis), this time with strong lesbian themes. It was divided into three sections, each representative of a phase of Bilitis' life: Bucolics in Pamphylia, Elegies at Mytilene, and Epigrams in the Isle of Cyprus; dedicated to her were also a short Life of Bilitis and three epitaphs in The Tomb of Bilitis. What made The Songs sensational is Louÿs' claim that the poems were the work of an ancient Greek courtesan and contemporary of Sappho, Bilitis; to himself, Louÿs ascribed the modest role of translator. The pretense did not last very long, and "translator" Louÿs was soon unmasked as Bilitis herself. This did little to tarnish The Songs of Bilitis, however, as it was praised as a fount of elegant sensuality and refined style, even more extraordinary for the author's compassionate portrayal of lesbian (and female in general) sexuality.



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