In fact, like Char who had expressed his fealty to poetry by joining the resistance during WWII and had refused to publish throughout the war, Oppen and Rakosi commanded respect for having, during the Depression, renounced poetry to organize strikes and become social workers. In , Oppen volunteered for duty and was wounded in the Ardennes. Against Sartre who had asserted that only prose could carry active political content, Zukofsky and his fellow Objectivists produced poems where literary responsibility was embodied in the form, thus legitimizing opacity at the expense of transitivity.
Not all Objectivists have left a mark on French poetics. Concentrating on issues of poetic theory, 5 my aim is to bring out the landmarks and articulations of the French reception of the Objectivists, to show how the controversies attending the interpretations of Objectivist poetics served to further French poetics and, more generally, to shed light on the complex dynamics of reception, textual circulation and canonization. I identify three main moments of this reception, focusing more specifically on the key figures, institutions, publications and events around which these different readings of the Objectivists crystallized, and I dwell on those moments when competing readings of the Objectivists came into conflict.
This central position also stressed their role as sole link between what Fauchereau calls the Pound-Williams-Cummings trinity on the one hand, and Charles Olson and the Black Mountain group on the other. In his opening paragraph, Fauchereau noted a surge of interest for the Objectivists in the s and, possibly under the influence of his friend and informant Robert Duncan, stated that Louis Zukofsky appeared to be considered among the three or four greatest poets alive. Fauchereau insists on their refusal of metaphors, of explanation, of passing aesthetic or moral judgment.
He insists on their deliberate simplicity, their familiar diction, a naturalness that American poetry had never reached before , characteristics which might well appeal in a country where literary language has always been far removed from everyday language and appeared even more strikingly so after when conversational French became more informal. He contextualizes the importance of the object and likens it to a rehabilitation of objects in other contemporary arts, painting in particular.
À vingt-cinq ans, Jérémie Rex, boulanger à Arcachon, est entré dans un tableau de Magritte. Là, il a retrouvé pendant quatre minutes trente la femme de sa vie. La Maison des lumières (uzotoqadoh.tkLE) (French Edition) eBook: Didier van Cauwelaert: uzotoqadoh.tk: Kindle Store.
Quoting Alain Robbe-Grillet , he evokes a form of revelation that is not mystical but plainly photographic, thus delineating the evolution of the French poetry to come from a poetics of presence to a poetics of literality. In the conversation with Charles Dobzynsky and Serge Fauchereau that inaugurates the issue, Roubaud says that he had known about Williams, Pound and Cummings but, like everybody else, had been under the impression that American poetry was something minor and not very interesting.
When Fauchereau asks him what attracted him to the Objectivists, Roubaud answers:. What struck me is that these were people who came after their elders, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, that is after people who were innovators and who, in order to continue beyond, found a solution that was not that of the Surrealists. I admire the Surrealists and Dadaists enormously but if you want to write in France you have to determine your stance in opposition to them; so seeing people who took Pound and Williams as starting-points and who went in directions that were markedly different from those we were familiar with in France, that really struck me.
Europe , , Throughout the s, Roubaud was reading far and wide in search of remote poetic models to counter the Surrealist influence that he had initially suffered under: In the mids, Roubaud was also reflecting on French verse. In his book on the demise of the alexandrine, he criticized what he terms the vers libre standard standard free verse propagated by the Surrealists and increasingly popular worldwide. The alternative poetic models he turned toward are all strongly formal and, unsurprisingly, Roubaud took a keen interest in Zukofsky in whom he may have seen a predecessor, a poet who shared his concern for the renewal of form and his growing distrust for avant-garde gestures.
His notice begins with a grand canonizing gesture: For Roubaud, Zukofsky offered not only an original combination of radical politics and formal experimentation but, unlike Pound, had opted for the adequate politics Marxism and poetics, i. But, just as importantly, this initial decade of reception was shaped by the gestures of two poets: First, she translated a poem of formidable formal complexity and semantic obduracy. And she did so in a very personal way, making forceful decisions, choosing to translate the form rather than the words.
Secondly, Zukofsky approved of the translation, 15 and several French poets did too: Hocquard here clarifies the stakes of an Objectivist reception orchestrated by poets as opposed to academics: In hindsight, the conference contributed to the recognition and canonization of the Objectivists, and sealed a Franco-American friendship 18 on the grounds of a common lineage and a certain interpretation of these ancestors. The conference also revealed diverging interpretations of the Objectivists, indicative of fault-lines among their admirers in France and beyond.
Carl Rakosi, the sole surviving Objectivist, was invited at the conference and, as he made known in a March letter to Poetry Flash , strongly disagreed with many things he heard.
Yves di Manno described the Objectivist meeting as a turning point in his life and a leap into the public debate. But their work bears the mark of the theoretical investigations of this era of suspicion. It is precisely this common theoretical background that enabled a true conversation with the Language Poets. Composed over several decades and only published in full posthumously, Testimony: The United States , Recitative 22 portrays turn-of-the-century America from the statements of courtroom witnesses that Reznikoff sampled and versified.
What makes this book so moving is precisely its literality, which is the contrary of literature. Duplication logically reveals the model in a new light, relentless, overwhelming. Through repetition, in that gap, that distance, which is the very theatre of mimesis, suddenly you see something else in the model, which now loses its value as original, as origin.
It is prodigious how this infinitesimal transfer of the same text, this simple passage from one form to another, produces meaning—and how violently—while operating, by means of language, a considerable cleansing. It embodies his concept of elucidation. For Hocquard, the business of poetry is the logical organization of thought or, in Wittgensteinian terms, the logical clarification of thought.
As such, it has nothing more in common with literature than with any other language-based activity Hocquard, , Both first and second literality share an awareness that the real is inaccessible and that language is bound to fail in its attempt at representation. But while the first literality, initiated by Albiach and Royet-Journoud in the s, experienced the impassable gap between words and things as a form of terror or ecstasy, the second literality, predicated on differential repetition, joyfully engages in grammatical investigations of a very practical nature.
The foundation on this second literality marked an important turning point in French poetry, away from mid-century Kojevian and Blanchotian negativity.
It offered a theoretical frame for all the techniques of sampling and appropriation to come. It also marked a turning point in the French reception of the Objectivists. The Objectivists, of course, were duly rounded in the camp of the literalists. Edited by Alferi and Cadiot, these strikingly attractive page volumes made a clean break with the avant-garde magazines of the s by presenting themselves as cross-generational tool boxes rather than coterie-driven manifestos and works in progress. The arrest of poetry: On the one hand, the fetishistic craftsmen, keepers of forms and savoir-faire.
The two volumes do not offer any easy answer but a rich toolbox. In the s, a new generation of poets stripped the Objectivists of these formalist, autotelic overtones and used Testimony to engineer a pragmatic poetics. Part of the third-generation surge of interest for the Objectivists can be ascribed to Jean-Marie Gleize and his young associates, the post-poets. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.
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Published from to by poets Liliane Giraudon and Jean-Jacques Viton, Banana Split featured a joyful mix of poets from across the modernist and experimentalist spectrum and published many American poets in translation. Quel jeu jouent donc les services secrets avec les terroristes? But, just as importantly, this initial decade of reception was shaped by the gestures of two poets: In his opening paragraph, Fauchereau noted a surge of interest for the Objectivists in the s and, possibly under the influence of his friend and informant Robert Duncan, stated that Louis Zukofsky appeared to be considered among the three or four greatest poets alive. Hanna compares the revelatory power of poetic documents and apparatus dispositifs to the scenes of anagnorisis in Greek tragedies:
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