Mallarmé’s poetic thought is haunted by the hermeneutic question of understanding as well as the epistemological questions of contingency, necessity and chance. This is not surprising if one takes into account that he has since the beginning been blamed for his supposedly obscure poetry. It is striking, though, that his theory of reading and writing, which he defines both as practices, seems to point to certain decisive moments in Gadamer’s philosophical thought. And even if Gadamer rarely refers to Mallarmé ex plicitly in his writings, the poetry and poetic thinking of the latter seem to be of the highest importance for the development of his own philosophical hermeneutics in ‘Truth and Method’ and some later texts. This becomes particularly evident if one compares his concept of the work of art and his philosophy of language with the Mallarméan thought of the mirror of poetry.