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Frédéric Mistral and Arles

Frédéric Mistral was born on September 8, 1830 in Maillane in the Bouches-du-Rhône département in southern France (few kilometers from Arles), where he died March 25, 1914 and is buried.

Frédéric Mistral

Frédéric Mistral

Frédéric Mistral was an Occitan writer and lexicographer of the Occitan language. Mistral won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1904 and was a founding member of Félibrige and a member of l'Académie de Marseille. His name in his native language was Frederi Mistral (/Mistrau) according to the standard mistralienne or Frederic Mistral (/Mistrau) according to the traditional standard.
Mistral's fame was owing in part to Alphonse de Lamartine who sang his praises in the fortieth edition of his periodical "Cours familier de littérature", following the publication of Mistral's long Mirèio poem. He is the most revered writer in Occitan literature.
Alphonse Daudet, with whom he maintained a long friendship, devoted to the "Poet Mistral" one of his "Lettres de mon moulin", in an extremely eulogistic way.
Several schools bear Frederic Mistral's name, most notably the Lycée Mistral in Avignon.
Poet who led the 19th-century revival of Occitan (Provencal) language and literature. He shared the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1904 (with Jose Echegaray y Eizaguirre) for his contributions in literature and philology.

Frédéric Mistral - Place du Forum - Arles

Frédéric Mistral monument on Place du Forum - Arles

Mistral's father was a well-to-do farmer in the former French province of Provence. Mistral attended the Royal College of Avignon (later renamed the Frederic Mistral School). One of his teachers was Joseph Roumanille, who had begun writing poems in the vernacular of Provence and who became his lifelong friend. Mistral took a degree in law at the University of Aix-en-Provence in 1851.
Wealthy enough to live without following a profession, he early decided to devote himself to the rehabilitation of Provencal life and language. In 1854, with several friends, he founded the Felibrige, an association for the maintenance of the Provencal language and customs, extended later to include the whole of southern France (le pays de la langue d'oc, "the country of the language of oc," so called because the Provencal language uses oc for "yes," in contrast to the French oui). As the language of the troubadours, Provencal had been the cultured speech of southern France and was used also by poets in Italy and Spain. Mistral threw himself into the literary revival of Provencal and was the guiding spirit and chief organizer of the Felibrige until his death in 1914.
Mistral devoted 20 years' work to a scholarly dictionary of Provencal, entitled Lou Tresor dou Felibrige, 2 vol. (1878).
He also founded a Provencal ethnographic museum in Arles, using his Nobel Prize money to assist it. His attempts to restore the Provencal language to its ancient position did not succeed, but his poetic genius gave it some enduring masterpieces, and he is considered one of the greatest poets of France.

Works of Frédéric Mistral:
Mirèio (1859) - en ligne - version française
Calendau (1867) - en ligne
Lis Isclo d’or (1875) - en ligne : partie I, partie II
Nerto, nouvelle (1884) - en ligne
La Rèino Jano, drame (1890) - en ligne
Lou Pouèmo dóu Rose (1897) - en ligne
Moun espelido, Memòri e Raconte (Mes mémoires) (1906) - en ligne
Discours e dicho (1906) - en ligne
La Genèsi, traducho en prouvençau (1910) - en ligne
Lis óulivado (1912) - en ligne
Lou Tresor dóu Felibrige (1878-1886), dictionnaire provençal-français ou dictionnaire de la langue d'oc moderne - en ligne
Proso d’Armana (posthume) (1926, 1927, 1930) - en ligne
Coupo Santo (1867)

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