Mallarmé on Fashion: A Translation of the Fashion Magazine La Dernière Mode, with Commentary
In 1874, Stéphane Mallarmé, the great French poet, undertook a highly idiosyncratic project--the publication of a fashion magazine called La Dernière Mode (The Latest Fashion)--that he almost single-handedly compiled. Using a variety of feminine and masculine pseudonyms to theorize about fashion and to advise on popular vacation destinations, home furnishings, and entertainment, Mallarmé created a spectacularly original work. The distinguishing feature of Mallarmé's magazine is that it explores the nature of fashion from the inside. While it is a genuine fashion magazine, it also satirizes the entire genre. Various theories have been entertained about the work: it has been viewed as a prose poem, a hoax, and a cynical money-making venture. Furbank and Cain, however, argue that such guesses are hopelessly off the mark. Complete with the original artwork and a contextualizing introduction and commentary, this is the definitive translation of one of French literature's greatest enigmas.
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