Alfred de Musset and the Uses of Experience

Musset's lasting ambition as an author was to write great poetry; how it might best be created preoccupied him throughout his career. What resulted was a poetic based upon the open expression of the poet's deepest emotions; Musset held, however, that the strong feelings conducive to verse came from living intensely: hence the "theory of experience," whose development and significance are discussed here. Its influence on all genres was considerable: it is shown that many of Musset's most important works owe their inspiration to his application of this central tenet of his poetic theory, and its failure. (DRG)
Gamble, D. R
Volume 1989-1990 Fall-Winter; 18(12): 78-84