Charles Gounod (1818-1893)

On 24 June 1864, then absorbed in reading Victor Hugo’s Shakespeare, Gounod confided to his wife, “What a beautiful thing a book is! It is the most complete expression of human thought: a painting cannot do everything, nor can a poem or a musical composition. Eloquence itself must come to an ending, but the book! The book is a sphere, an argus, it has eyes everywhere.”

Book projects would appear with increasing frequency in Gounod’s correspondence. On 14 November 1868, in the midst of orchestrating the Ballet for Faust, he expressed his impatience to finish so that he could devote himself to his book on Les Lois de l’Art (the laws of art) which interested him much more. In July 1872, Gounod announced to his wife that he had sketched a book on art which transformed in February 1873 to an agreement to write a series of letters, De la Routine en matière d’art, for a new review published in Brussels, L’Art universel. “I will discuss the Routine of the Public, of Authors, of Singers, of Critics, of Editors, and of Professors; the series can later form a volume,” Gounod would write. Only the first four installations were published and were later republished in The Cosmopolitan, alternating between French and English. The remaining articles, which Gounod had outlined, were published (and perhaps completed) by Georgina Weldon in her Autobiographie.

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birth year1818
death year1893
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Publications (42)

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42 results