1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Kahn, Gustave
KAHN, GUSTAVE (1859– ), French poet, was born at Metz on the 21st of December 1859. He was educated in Paris at the École des Chartes and the École des langues orientales, and began to contribute to obscure Parisian reviews. After four years spent in Africa he returned to Paris in 1885, and founded in 1886 a weekly review, La Vogue, in which many of his early poems appeared. In the autumn of the same year he founded, with Jean Moréas and Paul Adam, a short-lived periodical, Le Symboliste, in which they preached the nebulous poetic doctrine of Stéphane Mallarmé; and in 1888 he became one of the editors of the Revue indépendante. He contributed poetry and criticism to the French and Belgian reviews favourable to the extreme symbolists, and, with Catulle Mendès, he founded at the Odéon, the Théâtre Antoine and the Théâtre Sarah Bernhardt, matinées for the production of the plays of the younger poets. He claimed to be the earliest writer of the vers libre, and explained his methods and the history of the movement in a preface to his Premiers poèmes (1897). Later books are Le Livre d’images (1897); Les Fleurs de la passion (1900); some novels; and a valuable contribution to the history of modern French verse in Symbolistes et décadents (1902).