This volume contains never-before translated prose selections by the father of the Symbolist movement, one of the most influential cultural figures of 19th-century France. Mallarmé's letters to leading French intellectuals and artists of the time appear with his pieces on language and aesthetics, as he considers the state of contemporary French literature. There are also lighter reflections on life, fashion, and the performing arts (some of Mallarmé's fascinating essays on the ballet are included here). A number of sections are devoted to Mallarmé's great magazine of wit and opinion, La Dernière Mode, or The Latest Fashion, every page of which he wrote himself under various pseudonyms of both genders. As the translator and editor of this volume Mary Ann Caws puts it: "It is Mallarmé as inventor whom this volume celebrates." Mallarmé's portraits of poets and artists (including Tennyson, Poe, and Manet) also contribute to this long-awaited volume, a collection of prose highlighting Mallarmé's multiplicity of voices and variety of forms.