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Maurice Maeterlinck

1862 Gent
1949 Nizza

The Belgian author Maurice Polidore Marie Bernhard Maeterlinck, known as Maurice Maeterlinck, was born on 29th August 1862 in Gent. He was one of the most important Symbolist authors of in early 20th century Europe. Maeterlinck studied law in Gent and subsequently worked briefly as a lawyer. He simultaneously began writing poems and short stories, which he later destroyed, leaving only fragments.
In 1889, Maurice Maeterlinck published his first book of poetry; "Les Serres chaudes" (In the Greenhouse). During the same year, the author achieved a literary breakthrough with his drama, "La Princess Maleine". In 1892, he published his fairy story drama "Pelléas und Mélisande", which was subsequently staged a number of times.
In 1896, Maurice Maeterlinck retuned to Paris, and gained access to literary circles that would have a strong influence on his later work. He had contact with the author Stéphane Mallarmé (1842–98) and Auguste Graf von Villiers de l’Isle-Adam (1838–89), amongst others. After undertaking various trips around Europe and North America, Maurice Maeterlinck moved to the French Riviera.
In 1909, he published his most famous work "L’Oiseau Bleu", and two years later he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1926, he published "La Vie des Termites". Maeterlinck purchased a châteaux in Nizza, which he called "Orlamonde" (now the Hotel "Palais Maeterlinck"), a name he used in his book "Quinze Chansons" (1900).
In 1932 King Albert of Belgium (1875 – 1934) knighted him for his contribution to literature. During World War 2, Maurice Maeterlinck resided in the U.S.A, where he became president of the International PEN Club.
Maurice Maeterlinck died on 6th May 1949 in his châteaux "Orlamonde" in Nizza.

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