Shaping of Modern French Poetry (Lives & letters)

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9781857541892: Shaping of Modern French Poetry (Lives & letters)

This book is uniquely designed for those interested in the radical possibilities of poetry, and for students of French literature at graduate and undergraduate level.

The development of modern French poetry is marked by striking formal innovation -- poemesen prose, vers libres, versets, calligrammes, lettrisme, spatialisme, poesie concrete, poesie eclatee -- which break the traditional moulds of versification without abandoning the values of poetry, with its implicit aesthetic criteria. This informal study focuses on ways in which visual stimuli in particular, in a context of technological progress in communications, have governed poets' responses to the challenge of formal freedom. What emerges is the centrality of the concept of iconic re-enactment'. A sense of adequation, of appropriateness, guides the poet away from writing as decoration and towards the creation of organic wholeness for each text or textual element; away from separable extrinsic features towards an intrinsic unity of form and content. This approach takes on new force when the powerful technical constraint of verse is replaced by shaping constraints of a no less demanding and thus imaginatively stimulating kind.

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