Apollinaire, Guillaume (gēyōmˈ äpōlēnârˈ) [key], 1880–1918, French poet. He was christened Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky. Apollinaire was a leader in the restless period of technical innovation and experimentation in the arts during the early 20th cent. Influenced by the symbolist poets of the previous generation, he developed a casual, lyrical poetic style characterized by a blend of modern and traditional images and verse techniques. His best-known lyrical poems are collected in Alcools (1913) and Calligrammes (1918). A friend of many avant-garde artists, including Picasso and Braque, Apollinaire is credited with introducing cubism with his book Les Peintres cubistes (1913, tr. The Cubist Painters, 1949). Les Mamelles de Tirésias (1918), his only play, was one of the earliest examples of surrealism.
See biographies by F. Steegmuller (1963, repr. 1971) and M. Davies (1964); studies by L. C. Breunig (1969), K. Samaltanos (1984), T. Mathews (1988), and S. Bates (1967, rev. ed. 1989).
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