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Mallarme’s Prolongation

In response to:

Mysteries of Mallarmé from the September 22, 1994 issue

To the Editors:

Just a footnote to P.N. Furbank’s review of Gordan Millan’s A Throw of the Dice: The Life of Stéphane Mallarmé: I do not believe it is correct that Mallarmé’s Hérodiade as a name for Salome is his invention. He has it from Heinrich Heine’s mock-epic, Atta Troll: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1846), where the Jewish femme fatale Herodias appears in a dream, along with the Romantic fairy Abunde and the Classical huntress Diana, as one of the muses of Heine’s poetic imagination. Mallarmé was well acquainted with Heine’s work, which was a source of the Salome/Herodias motif in French literature throughout the nineteenth century.

Jeffrey L. Sammons
Professor of German
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

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