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Jean Lorrain

Jean Lorrain (1855-1906) born Alexandre Martin Duval grew up in Fecamp with Guy de Maupassant a near neighbour. When he abandoned his law studies to begin a literary career his father agreed to give him a small allowance on condition he used a pseudonym. His mother found the name Jean Lorrain in the telephone directory. He installed himself in Montmartre in 1880. He became a dandy in 1883, the sole disciple of Barbey d'Aurevilly as Remy de Gourmont termed him. The death of his father in 1886 forced him to make his living through journalism. He wrote many novels, plays and poetry but it is Monsieur de Phocas (1901) for which he is best remembered as this novel is seen as the summation of fin- de-siecle French decadence. His work is also featured in The Dedalus Book of French Horror and The Dedalus Book of Decadence.

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