Jean Lahor was, as also Jean Caselli, a nom de plume of Henri Cazalis. He was born at
Cormeilles-en-Parisis, Val-d'Oise, son of a well respected doctor. He was destined for a
legal career but he left Strasbourg university in order to study medicine.
Subsequent to graduation, Cazalis established a practice at Challes in 1875 and, later, at
Aix-les-Bains where several literary figures, including Maupassant and Verlaine, became
his patients. He won the respect of his professional colleagues by compiling treatises
on goitre, rheumatism and venereal disease amongst other medical achievements.
He combined literature with his medical career, however, publishing a poetry collection,
Le Livre du Néant, in1872 followed by his chief poetic work, L'Illusion in 1875. He
later published works on Hinduism and Indian poetry in which he considered their influence
on romanticism in western thought. He frequented the Parnassian poets and formed a
lasting friendship with Mallarmé with whom he corresponded for several years.
Cazalis also formed in 1901, with Sully-Prudhomme, a society for the Protection of the
Landscape and Aesthetic of France. In 1907, he was considered for membership of the
Académie française but lost the candidature to Richepin. He died at Geneva.
Several of his poems have been set to music by the composers, Saint-Saëns, Duparc,
Chausson and Hahn amongst others.