Ils ne le seront probablement pas: Je voudrais tant le croire, mais vraiment? On vient chez vous comme les dauphins qui reviennent en surface prendre un bol d'air frais Ceux qui votent FN sont des gens responsables qui aiment la France par dessus tout. Si nous votons FN au premier tour, nous votons au second tour pour le candidat de droite, et cela donne Il ne faut plus jouer avec le feu. Il se croient assez malins pour jouer le politique du pire! Ils ont voulu le pire,tout le monde l' a! Tiens, un bel alexandrin. Bienvenu dans le nouveau monde. Tout en faisant du fric. Oui,mais juste pour la question.
Ce sera notre prochain grand voyage. Capitaines d'Entreprises bien venus. Cesser de cautionner les plus malfaisants. Cesser de distribuer de l'argent fictif donc d'endetter le pays. Nous ne devons, ne pouvons pas recommencer. Tout passera, vous verrez. Bon ben c'est fait. Pas bien compris le vote de droite? Inutile de jeter des pierres Pour le premier exercice: Je leur donne un petit conseil: Effectivement la gauche se moque de tout le monde Et je ne suis pas juif!!!!
Tant de choses peuvent se passer, en deux mois! Remarquez que je suis d'accord pour la simple raison que, contrairement au F. Que dire de plus? Et ils pensent, avec tendresse: La France est en Europe? Alors, restons les pieds sur terre. Alors ne faisons pas la fine bouche. Non, pas pour des racistes.
Sarkozy a "ouvert" et perdu, Hollande ferme et risque de gagner. Elle a en revanche perdu des voix vitales sur sa droite. Au tour suivant, il vous le fait payer! Il y a moins d'intervenants que sur le blog de M. Rioufol mais je trouve les billets de M. Il faut savoir ce qu'on veut. On n'a rien vu venir. L'UE compte 27 membres. Le peuple n'avait eu le moindre mot au chapitre. Grand bien leur fasse. Non, ce n'est pas "ce que tout le monde pense". Je m'insurge contre cette intimidation, et retourne la proposition: Elle entretient avec lui des relations intenses.
Il est tentant de rechercher l'origine de cette faille dans son histoire familiale. Voici un lien qui liste les abattoirs conventionnels. Et hop, plus jamais de Halal, sauf si on nous raconte encore des carabistouilles. Alors ne faisons pas la fine bouche". Elle aussi s'aligne sur le politiquement correct. Je me fous des Esquimaux. C'est facilement reconnaissable par le fait que je n'en parle jamais ici.
Je dois dire que l'intervention de Passim sur le sujet vaut vraiment le coup. Le peuple juif qui n'est ni une race, ni une ethnie Cette histoire de soleil qui tourne autour de la Terre, il fallait en rire au lieu de vous en offusquer. Au final, sachant que nous avions un point commun, je lui en ai fait part.
Et puis, comme Till, il a un certain humour qui me convient. Enderlin, sur la question; ne serait-ce que pour avoir un autre point de vue. Chacun y va de son couplet, de sa flagornerie, jusqu'au ridicule. Il y a des exceptions. Et c'est probablement parce, ni vous, ni qui que ce soit, ne parle des Esquimaux, du moins sur ce blog,, que je n'en dis pas un mot.
Moi je ne peut rien, sauf avertir i prier. Que chacun va passer devant Le Juge et il sera tout seul!
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Foie, yeux, bras, dents, etc. Et on y arrivera. La dynamique se met en place. Vous n'avez pas tout suivi et vous arrivez comme un cheveu sur la soupe. Sauf chez des sauvages. Et il avait raison: Ils sont redevenus insaisissables. Le temps joue pour eux. Seule solution, encore possible mais pour combien de temps: Ca nous ferait un peu d'air.
Et pas une info sur LeFigaro. Le Chef de l'Etat vient de recevoir un dromadaire en cadeau! De quelle dette s'agit-il donc? Des manifestations "Tous pour le mariage" aujourd'hui en France? Nous aussi, nous resterons dans qu'il faudra Et il suffisait d'attendre un peu, le barrage craque. Mais pas tirer sur le pianiste: Alors, faisons comme eux: Ensuite, remettons la discussion sur le tapis: Quelques passages dans la meilleure version de Scapin que j'aie vue, mais introuvable: Le figaro n'est plus un journal d'opposition.
Il est devenu au fil du temps un journal de gauche. Ils sont totalement halal. Car le mariage, c'est fait pour un homme et une femme, pas pour deux hommes ou deux femmes. C'est encore VOUS les responsables. Ils n'ont ni bateaux ni trains ni avions? On ne parle jamais des vietnamiens non plus, ni des cambodgiens.
On parle toujours des autres, c'est vrai, pourquoi donc? Ne mangez pas de viande. Les carburants, les transports en commun. Je paye avec ce que la gauche fait actuellement? Je viens de lire: J'ai connu des votes pareils pendant ma jeunesse. Ici, on fait seulement un peu plus semblant d'avoir une "opposition". Oui, mais un temps court.
Tout le monde ou presque approuve. Mais que faire, surtout quand on n'est pas au pouvoir Merci pour votre comm.source site
Bloc-notes : l'indocile peuple français, bête noire de l'"élite éclairée"
IL est de plus en plus urgent de trouver la solution la plus pacifique possible Pour les amateurs d'histoire: Je ne regrette plus rien et j'ai tout suivi. Comme toujours,vous nous apportez des in formations renversantes. On va voir si ce blog est libre! Mais profitons donc de la chance que vous avez de m'avoir lu, cette fois encore.
Eux qui connaissaient si bien et nous en font part ici au quotidien, la seule autre religion de la Loi, en dehors de la leur? Mais non, bien plus de Tout cela sur fond d'une solide connaissance de l'histoire criminelle de la France, des Grandes Compagnies aux Blousons noirs en passant par les Apaches.
En outre, Obertone n'a peur de rien. Et c'est une tendance lourde depuis 10 ans, au moins. A l'attention d'un possible public un peu jeune ou nouveau cela arrive Ce qui parait assez incroyable Ce chameau que M. Un coureur rapide avec une seule bosse? Ni le bidonnage de nos codes. Ce ne sont pas les noirs,aux US,qui ne peuvent pas porter une arme: Tonique ce bain…mais court.
Demain commence une autre semaine…un bain chez Goodyear? Pourtant ils aimeraient tellement vivre cela…. Henri Guaino a fait un travail de fond qui ne sera pas perdu. Et que loi ou pas loi cela ne changera RIEN!!! Votre rejet des homosexuel le s est-il si fort qu'il passe avant le bien des enfants qui vivent DEJA dans les familles homoparentales!!!
L'"immigration est une chance pour la France", elle "paiera nos retraites"? Et si elle prescrivait des sacrifices humains, vous feriez quoi? Ou allons-nous si nous ne sommes plus capables de discerner le bien du mal? Les lendemains qui chariantent. Je me contente de donner mon opinion: Vous semblez n'avoir rien compris! Ils n'avaient pas 20 ans!! Oui j'ai eu la chance de discuter avec un jeune, intelligent qui ne comprenait pas que nous soyons "contre LE mariage". Il ne voyait pas qu'il s'agissait de bien autre chose.
Mais cela, personne ne le saura avant longtemps. C'est un signe qui ne trompe pas. Je crois que les Juifs ont pris leur destin en mains, ne veulent plus se laisser soumettre et je leur donne raison. Alors essayez de vous imaginer dans cette famille, comme le fils de Roger et Valentin. Il n'y a plus rien. Voyons un autre facteur. A ce niveau tout devient possible. C'est un jeu d'une richesse infinie.
Que l'on me comprenne.
Mademoiselle de Forcheville
La cellule familiale en tant que noyau de la vie. Alors genefou, pour en finir. Une amie juive qui habite mon immeuble m'a dit qu'elle consommait aussi bien de la viande halal que de la viande casher. Les sommes en jeu atteignent plusieurs milliards d'euros. Une belle cour des miracles que ce gouvernement.
Normal nous explique je suis une grande nation, il parle au singulier comme tous les politiques depuis 40 ans. Moi, je n'ai pas le regret de mon vote. Il est tout aussi inutile de regretter. Il s'agit d'agir, agir autrement! C'est elle qui est aux manettes On peut manifester, taper du pied..
Ce livre comme les commentaires de M. Rioufol, Zemmour , comme nos posts ici, ils s'en moquent; 4a leur glisse dessus comme l'eau sur les plumes d'un canard En fait, comme en 40, on a perdu une bataille mais on n'a pas perdu la guerre Pour l'instant, je ne vois personne en dehors de Marine le Pen pour conduire ce changement. Mais il faudra qu'elle l'emporte haut la main.
Je me manifeste quand je suis au bord de l'explosion. Le mieux c'est de se rabattre sur le porc. Ca ne prend plus! Mais des enfants qui vivent avec deux hommes ou deux femmes cela existent DEJA. Vous m'avez mal lue: Sarkozy est intervenu en faveur de notre principal ennemi. Et le 24 mars si on reste sur le "mariage", on se fera pilonner. Tout est une question d'argent. Cette absence de com conforte mes supputations. Pas plus tard que ce matin je lis sur la TV: Ne jouez pas sur les mots.
On le jettera aux orties? Ce sera bien plus facile qu'aujourd'hui. Pas la peine de lutter contre le travail des enfants qui existe partout dans le monde: Je prends cela comme une manipulation et plains ceux qui s'y laisseront prendre. Je n'ai jamais dit que la loi serait un changement de civilisation. La civilisation change sans que les lois y puissent grand chose.
Et que le couple homoparental avec qui ils vivent se marie, qu'est-ce que cela change? Mon intervention concernait en effet un propos de Genefou, pas de vous. J'ai fait une fausse manoeuvre et vous prie de m'en excuser. Ces ressources se chiffrent par milliards de dollars. Il faut se procurer la liste de ces parlementaires indignes. Cela existe depuis la nuit des temps et des millions de femmes et d'enfants en sont la preuve. Le Non-Mariage pour Tous. On favorise le droit des gays contre celui des enfants.
Et qu'ils vont recommencer. Renseignez-vous un peu, vous qui causez tant Deux chameaux femelles ne peuvent avoir de petit chameau ensemble. Moi,je pense que ce sont ceux qui ne critiquent oas Hollande qui sont anti France. Ce petit bonhomme hait la France et le fait savoir chaque jour par toutes ses forfaitures. Alors mon conseil du jour: Ils nous auraient dit, imitant un autre 'Je vous ai compris' Ce n'est pas le cas Ah oui bien sur, ils invalideront ces lois lorsque Moi je ne sais pas et vous?
Mais pas du tout ils savent qu'ils manipulent l'opinion publique. Et maintenant elle approuve le vote du mariage pour tous! Vous croyez quand M. Vous croyez que M. Il fallait "virer" les Serbes, pour qui ou quoi, au fait?
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Je ne dirais qu'un mot: A moins qu'on les vide avant? En ce sens, il est essentiel d'atteindre les Tiens encore une petite histoire personnelle. Vous qui critiquez le manque de liens, et autres justificatifs des arguments, vous en auriez pour vos annonces familiales ou de connaissances? Un lien sur Wiki? Ca me fait penser au "pain au chocolat" d'un certain M. Ce n'est pas une raison pour le laisser s'amplifier;ni pour l'amplifier volontairement!
Je voulais parler national et non local. C'est au collectif d'oeuvrer! Seriez-vous au-dessus des uns et des autres? Allez-vous la traiter d'homophobe aussi? L'abandon existe depuis la nuit des temps? Il est vent debout, se fait entendre et parler de lui. Je profite pour souhaiter un bon anniversaire au blog de M.
Oficialiser ce qui existe pourquoi pas le crime? Par exemple les besoins de l'enfant orphelin qui attend dans son orphelinat en imaginant ceux qui vont venir le chercher ne changent pas: La civilisation n'y fait rien. Vous parlez certainement de l'affiche, montrant un jeune homme ,la corde au cou ,avec le texte: Exact, je ne puis vous contredire. Eux aussi ont leur fuite des cerveaux…. Il n'y croit pas: En toute mauvaise foi!
Je ne le crois pas. Il fallait donc les observer nuit et jour. En avez-vous entendu parler? Et je comprends alors que pour penser cela, mes arguments vous restent incompris. L'astuce et la manip sont pourtant gros. Sans compter l'effet de mode. Le plus beau jour de sa vie!!! Elle ne dit rien ne fait rien.
Il parait qu'il y a de l'eau dans l'gaz au FN. Vous pourriez nous raconter ce qu'il s'y passe? Nous en avons beaucoup ris. Bon, il y a aussi le cochon La suite ic i Anniversaire: Il a pris sa place parmi les blogs influents et suivis. Communautarisme , Immigration , islam , mariage homosexuel. Bienvenue dans le Tea Party! On n'imagine pas les servitudes!! Quand la Propagande s'affole: Bon anniversaire, Ivan Rioufol, pour votre blog, indispensable plus aujourd'hui qu'hier. Tous aux manifs anti-mesures hollandaises! Une petite chanson s'impose donc: Instead, if Un coup de des is an accurate example of the kind of writing that Le Livre would contain, the actual spacing of the text and its actual pagination would become significant elements, and the virtual elements they imply would not be structures inside the book—these would be explicit—but things external to it, particularly theatre and drama, which Le Livre was intended to replace.
Of all of Mallarme's works, "L'apres-midi" stands somewhat apart from Le Livre. University of California Berkeley A similar argument is presented in an article in the Journal of the American Musicological Society. See Code, "Hearing Debussy reading Mallarme: In her book Mallarme and Debussy: Unheard Music, Unseen Text, Elizabeth McCombie has called for an approach to music and text relationships in Mallarme and Debussy that abandons the notion of imitation. In its place, she argues for a more flexible approach that is neither properly literary criticism nor musicology, but a "mobile textual approach that is able to reconstruct the particular force of the intermediate ground [between music and literature] and its underlying dialogue of slippages and collusions, while at the same time insisting on the independence of the arts.
Mallarme and Debussy are test cases for this language, which is drawn in part from Mallarme's own critical writings and from other sources only tangentially related to the subject, like the works of Boulez, whose debt to both Mallarme and Debussy does not necessarily make his aesthetic relevant to a study of the two. McCombie's work is strongly influenced by Roger Pearson's homophonic approach to Mallarme's poetry. For this reason, she is sensitive to the phonetic aspects of Mallarme's verse, and particularly to moments where common phonemes unite various key words in some of Mallarme's poems.
Unheard Music, Unseen Text Oxford: Clarendon Press, , xvi. In other places, McCombie's observations seem forced, as when she analyses an excerpt from "Herodiade. In the 'Ouverture' d'Herodiade the simultaneous presentation and cancellation of an image and the multiplication of interpretative possibilities surrounding certain words creates an overdetermination of signification: Abolie, et son aile affreuse dans les larmes Du bassin, aboli, qui mire les alarmes, De l'or nu fustigeant l'espace cramoisi, Une Aurore a, plumage heraldique, choisi Notre tour cineraire et sacrificatrice This passage creates points of immobility through magnetic pulls of attraction and repulsion.
The semantic space opened up by the initial act of repression or abolishing 'Abolie' is drowned again by its pursuit of a partner. The feminine 'Abolie' finds its mirroring reflection in the masculine version in line 2. The repetition both fills the emptiness created by the opening, in a matching sonority that has the effect of a double negative, and reiterates the sense of emptiness in a string of negative statements.
Finding a masculine equivalent amounts to a reciprocal cancelling-out, yet the partnership gives birth to an overload of reflections in the line-final rhymes 'cramoisi', 'choisi'. Sound patterns offer the promise of possible thematic centres, refuges from the pull between volume and emptiness. Yet to follow the path suggested by the phonetic patterning is to be misled. They are loci of stabilizing and destabilizing reflection, pools of verbal heterogeneity.
The abolished pool is and is not reflecting 'les a' of'aboli e ' 'dans les larmes', mire les a-larmes'. Here, the masculine-feminine pairing of aboli e is certainly relevant to Mallarme's prosody and the excerpt's negative semantic message. The passage can also and more simply be interpreted thus: The gold and crimson of dawn disappear 'abolie' as the sun rises, in a common Mallarmean theme of self-consumption.
Its wing-like streaks are reflected in the pool, where they are also disappearing. This disappearance reflects our own fears about the impermanence of physical reality life, death, etc. This phonetic game is not all-encompassing, nor is it meant to be. When it comes to the actual relationship between Debussy's music and Mallarme's poetry, there are some gaps in McCombie's work.
Of the four Debussy songs that set Mallarme poems, she examines only Soupir and Eventail in detail. Instead, when she treats Debussy's music, she prefers to deal with other works not specifically related to Mallarme: La mer, Jeux, and some of the piano Preludes. Rather than looking for the actual intermediate ground between Debussy and Mallarme, these studies are more concerned with the interaction of music and poetry in general.
Yet again there is no particular reason to suggest that the composition of Jeux owes any particular debt biographical, technical or otherwise to Mallarme's poem. It is possible to cite numerous examples of discontinuous musical textures in twentieth-century music that would match up equally well, by McCombie's own criteria, with Un coup de des. The only possible reason for the comparison of these two works must then rest on the tacit assumption that Berman also makes: In order to find an alternative to the various, essentially mimetic approaches described above, we must strike a balance between understanding what Debussy's setting of a Mallarme poem attempts to do, and how this reads through and across what the original poem attempts to And unless Debussy had seen the original edition of Un coup de des in the journal Cosmopolis—which differs significantly in graphic appearance from Mallarme's intentions—he likely would not have known the poem until at least , when Mallarme's collected works were published.
This requires a detailed understanding of Mallarme's poetry, particularly the ways that it differs from his contemporaries. For this reason, I now turn to Mallarme's works. The breadth and depth of this critical tradition far exceeds the space available in this forum to treat them fully. For this reason, I will only mention those works most relevant to my project.
Several exegetical studies have shed much light on the question of meaning in Mallarme's oeuvre. Nizet, ; Austin and Mondor, eds. A l l subsequent references to Mallarme's correspondence shall use the abbreviation Corr. An exegesis New Haven: Scriverny Press, ; Mallarme's Prose Poems: He deduces the signification of letters from their use in Mallarme's oeuvre as a whole, with pride of place given to Un coup de des.
He then shows how, in various poems, Mallarme reinforces the semantic message of the poems by expressing them through words that contain a conspicuous number of a particular letter or phoneme. Occasionally, Cohn argues that the letter content of a passage modifies, or even contradicts, its semantic meaning.
Cohn's theory of letters is laid out most clearly in Un coup de des: An exegesis, which is an enlargement of his doctoral thesis, but the strategy informs virtually all of his subsequent work on Mallarme. Guy Michaud's Mallarme is organized as a biography but its true value lies in his thoughtful and detailed explications of Mallarme's poems. More recently, Bertrand Marchal published Lecture de Mallarme, an exegetical study of the major poems, in which he summarizes' much of the work of previous critics like Emile Noulet and A.
Marchal's approach is mainly semantic, and he does not generally treat the prosodic elements of the poems as particularly significant. Jean-Pierre Richard's L'univers imaginaire de Mallarme is an intellectual topography of Mallarme's poetry. Reacting against Richard, Jacques Derrida has called into question the very notion of thematic criticism in Mallarme, suggesting instead in "The Double Session" that Mallarme's writing is essentially a-referential; that it sets up a series of intra- and inter-textual networks that constantly refer to other writings Bertrand Marchal, Lecture de Mallarme: Poesies, Igitur, Un coup de des Paris: Edition du Seuil, Robert Greer Cohn has also written extensively on Mallarme's thought.
For him, Mallarme's essential innovation was to modify the Hegelian dialectic to include a fourth pole, which he calls "antisynthesis. Although he believes that there is still a singular absolute meaning in a Mallarme poem as does Richard , Cohn's own tetrapolar schematic comes very close to Derrida's notion of "undecidability" in Mallarme.
Although Mallarme's critical essays are usually cited in support of a particular exegetical point in a poem, there are also important studies dedicated to the essays themselves. A Guide and Commentary explicates the essays collected in Divagations Cohn's work is nearly as difficult to navigate as the original Mallarme essays, but offers a way through the texts that is indispensable for anyone encountering these works for the first time.
A Guide and Commentary New York: A new translation of Divagations by Barbara Johnson was published too late to be incorporated into this study, but should be consulted by those interested in these works. See Mallarme, Divigations, trans. Finally, Mallarme's unique use of the French language is explored by Gerard Genette in his brilliant book Mimologics. He locates Mallarme's particular brand of Cratylism in the context of numerous theories of the French language that engage this particular type of mimology. Ultimately, Genette argues that Mallarme sees the French language as derived from an original language that was essentially mimetic.
This original language has been lost through the passage of time, through the grafting of one language into another, to the point that contemporary language no longer functions mimetically. Further, this language—or fragments of it—can be discovered in contemporary language.
Genette claims that Mallarme's Cratylism is essentially worked out at the level of the verse line in his poetry, where various rhyme and rhythmic gestures compensate for the mimetic defects of contemporary French. The verse line is very important for Mallarme, but Genette's dismissal of the word as an important element in this regard seems unnecessary. On one hand, he is a word-smith, and his poems have an acoustic reality that cannot be denied.
Even a silent reading of Mallarme's poetry calls forth the sonorous nature of his words, words that have a particularly poignant sound. On the other hand, Mallarme works with meanings. The Evolution of a Literary Language Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Voyages in Cratylusland, trans. University of Nebraska Press, , What separates Mallarme from the other poets of his generation is not the complexity of his poetry: Indeed, Mallarme always maintained that his poems were clear not easy to anyone who knew how to read.
The particular quality that distinguishes Mallarme from his contemporaries is the exceptional care with which he employs the sounds of words so that they have a significant relationship to the semantic meaning that the poem carries, and by extension with its analogical meanings as well. Throughout his correspondence and critical writings, Mallarme constantly equates this aspect of his poetic practice with music, using musical metaphors and imagery to describe the phonetic relationship between words and referring to his poems as "musical. Robert Greer Cohn argues that Mallarme gives a particular semantic meaning to individual letters, a meaning that adheres not only to their sound but also their graphic shape as well.
Roger Pearson's interest in phonemes is directed mainly towards homophony, which Pearson posits as essential to Mallarme's pursuit of linguistic mastery in his poems. The Development oja Poetic Art Oxford: By homophony, Pearson refers to homonyms - words that sound the same or nearly so but have different meanings. There are moments in Pearson's work, however, where he sees the formal manipulations of individual phonemes for their own sake, rather than in the service of an alternate semantic reading.
Graham Robb sees Mallarme's use of phonemes through the lens of French prosody. These echoes, drawn from key words or images in the poem, bind the work together and are responsible for the unique and often bizarre sonic landscapes of Mallarme's poems. Isolated references to music can be found in all three approaches, but none of them demonstrate how Mallarme describes the phonetic relationships of language as music in a systematic way. For Mallarme, aural similarity between words including rhyme, assonance, alliteration, and other resemblances indicates a hidden connection between them.
Mallarme sees in these various forms of rhyme an outline of the essential unity of language in its original state. He imagines a single generative language that is the unique source of contemporary dialects, a language in which there was no distinction between poetry and language since poetry was language and language was poetry. At some point in the distant past, this original language was broken apart, scattered across and inside the world's languages through evolution, war, cross-cultural influence, and similar factors.
Modern languages are therefore broken: This defect of language creates the need for the poet, whose purpose is to reconstruct this generative language through an exploration of 5 2 Robb uses the term "prosody" to refer to the conventional codes of French poetry that Mallarme both knew and exploited in his poems. I will use the term in the same sense throughout the present study. Yale University Press, , This, at its core, is Mallarme's notion of musical language, and the basis for virtually all of his later writings on music and poetry.
If, as Robb asserts, Mallarme had a preference for words that rhyme with few or no others, this may have been because the essential unity of language could best be reconstructed through these words. A word that rhymes with a few others, say a dozen or less, gives a relatively small group of semantic, etymological, orthographic and ideographic meanings from which to extract a unifying thread.
The first four of these are used as rhymes in two of Mallarme's poems: Among these five words, various semantic connections can be drawn. The intoxication of "ivre" is caused by the inner life of words "vivre" , which are immobilized "givre" in contemporary language until freed by poetry "delivre". The relation between the phonetic structure of words and their signification is the problem that Mallarme confronts in Les mots anglais, where he attempts to reconstruct, in the English language, the "relationships between the total signification and the letter" that point to 5 4 By ideographic, I refer to the meanings that could be adduced from the shapes of letters in these groups of words.
See Phillipe Martinon, Dictionnaire des rimes francaises, precede d'un traite de versification Paris: These words call out to one another in constellation, suggesting a common origin that is more than etymological, but points instead to an original language. Yet this reconstruction fails, by and large, to produce stable significance for practically any letter, precisely because the proliferation of rhyme gathers so many diverse meanings around each initial consonant position that the various constellations cannot all be reconciled.
The essential plurality of language casts a peculiar importance therefore on the isolated words, those for which Mallarme finds no significant constellation. Nevertheless, Mallarme believes that these isolated words include some of the most important ones in the language. Mallarme claims that it is the writer's duty to reconstruct these alliterative constellations, "to relate some terms whose unity contributes all the more to the charm and to 58 the music of language.
However, by trying to force a stable signification retroactively on letters from Un coup de des backwards onto the larger oeuvre , his system becomes somewhat dogmatic, with the individual letters and phonemes speaking the same message in a dizzying variety of contexts. Robb's approach is more flexible, and allows him to respond to the actual constellations that Mallarme's poems bring together without constantly relying on an a priori signification.
In this way, Mallarme emerges from and participates in a long tradition of nineteenth-century French poetry that found inspiration in musical works, notably Baudelaire and Verlaine. By the s, he argued that his poetry was more "musical" than sounding music itself, and the confrontational nature of his attitude toward music sets him somewhat apart from many of his contemporaries.
Since it is my purpose to trace the interaction of Mallarme's poetic "music" with Debussy's settings of his poems, critical works that examine the role of music in Mallarme's oeuvre are particularly relevant to my thesis. Perhaps the most comprehensive treatment of music in Mallarme to date is a dissertation by Suzanne Bernard, Mallarme et la musique!
Bernard recounts Mallarme's attendance at the Concerts Lamoureux, which she argues permitted Mallarme to "refine his ideas on music and on the relationships existing between music and literature. Some of her best insights relate to the essentially interconnected nature of all things in Mallarme's aesthetic, and the value that he assigns to music in this process.
However, Bernard's treatment of Mallarme's "musicalization" of poetry is less successful. For her, Mallarme's poetic music is found primarily in the typographical 5 9 Suzanne Bernard, Mallarme et la musique Paris: Nizet, 6 0 Ibid. She calls this a formal architecture evident on the surface of the page and in the ordering of the book of verse, which she compares to the physical disposition of the orchestra on stage.
Yet Bernard constantly lapses into vague metaphor: If the sole requirement for the "musicality" of a poem is that it combines multiple themes, then virtually any poem would be musical. More interesting is Bernard's treatment of music in the then-recently published sketches for Le Livre, Mallarme's unfinished masterwork. These are then varied and repeated, brought together to display the unity that underlies their apparent diversity. She asks "What does Mallarme do [in these "equations"] if not combine themes, forms, like a composer? Bernard concludes that Le Livre represents Mallarme's effort to fuse the mobility inherent in music with the permanence of literature.
This mobility is enacted as a reading strategy in which "vertical" and "horizontal" readings of the text produce various nuances of meaning comparable to music. In this text, one can see the "poet's persistent desire to 'take back' from Music that which seems to be the very essence of this sonorous form, its movement and the perpetual transformation of its themes.
As we shall see, Mallarme's poetry does in fact require such a novel approach to reading, although it need not be restricted to Le Livre or Un coup de des, but usefully informs his entire oeuvre.
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Phillipe Lacoue-Labarthe also sees Mallarme through a Wagnerian lens. Reverie of a French Poet"  and "Music and Letters" , everything, or almost everything, was collected and comprehended in a project that seems to have found its origins in the 'singular challenge' launched by Wagner. Lacoue-Labarthe recognizes that Mallarme's ultimate rejection of music in favour of poetry is based on the idea that actual concerted music 6 8 Bernard, Mallarme et la musique, Figures of Wagner, tr. Stanford University Press, , He concludes that, for Mallarme, "[v]ersification is thus the restitution of Literature as archi-music—this archi-music of which 73 music is itself only the imitation or the too sensual presentation.
Mallarme does see his poetry replacing orchestral music with the silenced "music" of written verse. However, by setting aside issues of rhyme in its most expanded sense and valorizing rhythm, Lacoue-Labarthe does not consider one of Mallarme's most crucial poetic techniques: And since, finally, Lacoue-Labarthe provides no example of how one might read Mallarme's poetic works in light of the "archi-music" created by rhythm, his argument never leaves the theoretical plane, as if Mallarme were first and foremost a philosopher and not a poet. Several useful contributions to the study of music in Mallarme have also been made by musicologists.
In his article "Sea-Changes: Here, Lacoue-Labarthe invokes Derrida's notion of arche-writing. See Derrida, OfGrammatology trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, , The portion dealing with Mallarme can be found on pages However, the example he chooses for this is somewhat disappointing. In "L'apres-midi d'un faune," McCalla identifies a "literary counterpoint" within the poem's structure between pairs of literary themes: More promising is McCalla's description of Mallarme's oeuvre as a reduction of language that concentrates on "constellations" of inter-related words.
His brief analysis of Mallarme's "Sainte" traces the way that parallel words and images from the first half of the poem are made to disappear in the second half, and the peculiarly static quality that this creates in the work. He shows how Mallarme's syntax and the semantic plurality of some of the poem's key words make it more allusive than the poetry of his contemporaries.
He calls this process of evocation and disappearance in the inexhaustible play of relationships the "music of 77 silence. One of the few scholars to fully recognize both Mallarme's attraction to and antipathy towards music is Mary Breatnach. In a study of the poet's influence on the composer Pierre Boulez, she criticizes approaches to Mallarme that "mistake the poet for some sort of composer manque.
A Study in Poetic Influence Aldershot: Ashgate, , Occasionally, she alludes to the importance of the sound of words and their individual phonemes, although this notion is pushed much farther by other critics. Perhaps her most valuable insight, from my point of view, is her recognition that Mallarme uses the term "music" to imply, at various times, either the sounding notes of instruments and voices or a series of essentially mental relationships.
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However, she insists on minimizing the role of sound in the second of these cases, claiming that Mallarme makes "a distinction But by not considering the materiality of Mallarme's language—the sound of the words themselves—she misses an important aspect of Mallarme's thinking about music. At the most basic level, a poet uses words as sounds. Everything flows from his ability to see connections in sound between words that can also be arranged to mean something semantically. For a poet who believed in the supremacy of poetic language as firmly as Mallarme did, and played with phonemes and other sound patterns rhythm for one as regularly, it is inconceivable that the sound of words did not matter to him.
That this aspect is in dialogue with the other elements that Breatnach identifies is certainly true, but our 8 1 Breatnach, "Music and Mallarme's Aesthetic," For Mallarme, the goal was to create poetry of such purity that it would itself be music. In one of his last published descriptions of the Le Livre, Mallarme claimed that "Poetry, close to the idea, is Music, par excellence—admits no inferiority. Le Livre is to be nothing less than the tracing of all relationships of the universe contained in the book, that singular text that has been the unconscious effort of all writers throughout history.
It is not exactly that Mallarme values silence, but rather that he values that which once sounded but has been silenced through writing. Debussy does not argue for a systematic poetification of music, nor does he seek to replace poetry with music entirely. Instead, he is interested in the simultaneous presence of these two signifying systems, these two artistic "languages," and the ways that they write and read over one another in the shared space of song.
So when a Mallarmean text comes into contact with a piece of music by Debussy, there is, necessarily, a complex interaction between the two systems that includes moments of congruity and discord, imitation and ambivalence. By studying the moments of tension and accord in these works, it should be possible to arrive at an accurate understanding of Mallarme's importance for Debussy's musical style. In this study, I have restricted myself to examining only those works in which Debussy's music explicitly engages a Mallarme poem. In this way, I hope to avoid falling into the trap that awaits more general stylistic readings of Debussy's larger output: I do not mean to argue that comparisons between Debussy's compositional style in general can not be made with features of Mallarme's poetic style, or that such comparisons are not fruitful.
However, when it comes to understanding which features of Debussy's style can be traced back to his contact with Mallarme's poetry, we must clearly distinguish between similarity and influence, even if that influence is manifested in a modification or outright rejection of the original source. In those works where the composer has authorized a comparison, whether by bringing music and text together in song, invoking poetry in the titles of pieces, or referring to a literary work in a body of paratextual evidence letters, marginalia, etc.
In all other cases, 38 we must be extremely cautious to avoid confusing similarity in the mind and ear of the listener for imitation or influence in the compositional process. In order to fully understand the artistic relationship between Debussy and Mallarme, the limits of their mutual understanding must be articulated. First, the central features of Mallarme's creative enterprise must be described. This must include not only the aesthetic positions outlined in Mallarme's critical essays, but also their specific application in his poetry.
My approach to Mallarme's poetry is, therefore, situated somewhere between Cohn's and Robb's. Taking my cue from Mallarme's method in Les mots anglais, I look for coincidences of sound and sense that Mallarme consciously exploits in his poetry. In many cases, these relationships are introduced through end-rhyme and reinforced in the surrounding syllables of the verse; however, there are several cases documented by Robb in which a word with no real rhyme appears in the middle of a verse line, scattering its phonemic elements across the poem.
From the sound-sense relationship in these clusters, I read outwards to the apparent significance of the poem, which is always in a dialectic relationship with its phonemic qualities. Secondly, the works by Debussy that use or refer to a specific text by Mallarme must be examined to see whether Debussy responds in any meaningful way whether positively or negatively to the features of Mallarme's work and aesthetic. There are five such compositions: Apparition , Prelude a l'apres-midi d'un faune , and Trois poemes de Stephane Mallarme ; Soupir, Placet futile, Eventail.
What emerges from this study is a more complex image of Mallarme and Debussy than has previously been put forward, one where the attraction, interaction and tension between music and poetry in their respective works stands as a microcosm of the larger relationship between Music and Language in general.
Whether he gained this understanding intuitively through an attentive reading of his poetry, gleaned it through repeated readings of Mallarme's critical essays, heard it at the mardi gatherings, or pieced it together from the opinions of those in the Parisian literary milieu, close readings of Debussy's Mallarme pieces show the composer by turns embracing and rejecting Mallarme's poetry, trying to find a musical counterpart for these poems that was more than just a bad pun. What emerges is an approach to text setting in which the essential qualities of the poems are retained inside the songs through a vocal line that acts like a recitation, while the surrounding musical lines speak with their own logic and purpose.
First, I locate Mallarme's essential conflict with music in the context of his spiritual-epistemological crises in the late s, fully fifteen years before his "discovery" of Wagner. Shared phonemes between words—rhyme in its most elemental form—trace hidden relationships between ideas and objects in the world. These relationships point to an original language in which sound and sense were in perfect accord.
Therefore, thought and language were also in perfect accord, and language was the expression of thought in the world. While some of his close friends—Villiers de L'Isle Adam, for example—had made the trip to Bayreuth, there is no indication in the frequent letters between the two that they ever spoke about Wagner's music, much less his more theoretical discussions of drama, poetic language, Stabreim, etc. As Genette has shown, many of these ideas stretch back to Plato and run through French theories of language for hundred of years before Mallarme. Very few people Genette and Jacques Michon excepted have tried to see Mallarme's treatment of language in light of these traditions.
University of Montreal Press, The unity of sound and sense in language was fractured and scattered across and inside the world's languages through the passages of time, war and conquest, and linguistic evolution. The poet's task is to reunite these fragments of language in which sound and sense are conjoined, and to work thus towards uncovering the essential signification of phonemes and the letters of the alphabet charged to represent them.
Verse, which Mallarme understood broadly to include all forms of literature, 88 has always done this whether explicitly through rhyme or implicitly in prose. In the process, I draw on evidence from Mallarme's letters, sketches for a planned dissertation on the word published posthumously as "Notes sur le langage," and his explication of similar phonetic reconstructions in Les mots anglais. I then turn to the more famous critical essays in order to show how consistently Mallarme sticks to his guns in the face of the Wagnerian movement.
I also demonstrate how Mallarme's musical language functions in verse through a critical examination of selected poems, thereby grounding the more philosophical discussions that have received considerable critical attention in a poetic practice that has received relatively less attention. The remaining chapters examine all five of Debussy's compositions to Mallarme poems chronologically. Chapter Two treats Debussy's early exposure to Mallarme, which resulted in the song Apparition Therein, I provide a summary of all of the Mallarme poems that we can reasonably assume that Debussy read to that point in time, and argue that his choice of "Apparition"—a poem in Mallarme's early style—shows a degree of ambivalence towards Mallarme's mature style.
I then show how Debussy's harmonic language in the song is designed to respond analogically to the semantic meaning of the poem, but not necessarily to 8 8 This is Mallarme's position, expressed in many of the late essays, including "La Musique et les Lettres" OC II, Chapter Three offers a new and non-mimetic reading of the Prelude a I'apres-midi d'un faune Rather than following the poem line by line or section by section, I see the Prelude in the context of its origins as a theatrical production.
In late or early , Mallarme engaged Debussy to write an overture, and perhaps incidental music also, for an upcoming performance of "L'apres-midi d'un faune. Basically, I see the Prelude as a representation of the Idea of the poem rather than a representation of its text, for which Debussy's opening flute solo functions as an abstract musical symbol.
The way that this melody and its important pitches recur throughout the Prelude is explained as an example of the arabesque, an enactment of essential processes of thought, which can also be traced in the poem and in Mallarme's aesthetic. Chapter Four examines the Trois poemes de Stephane Mallarme , which represents Debussy's final engagement with Mallarme's poetry. In these songs, I show the degree to which Debussy understood the phonetic elements of Mallarme's style and how this awareness, along with more traditional notions of text-setting, shaped the individual compositions to allow the music of the poems to be audible inside the songs.
I will also show moments where Debussy's music reads across Mallarme's texts, and moments when the reverse is also true. In the process, I sketch the limits of the relationship between music and poetry in Debussy and Mallarme, and between the two arts more generally. Chapter One stands in a somewhat uncomfortable relationship to the other three. The ideas I explore there are necessary to establish Mallarme's basic attitudes towards music and language, and therefore inform all of the texts that Debussy set to some extent.
However, the extent to which Debussy knew about, understood, or agreed with Mallarme's theories is 42 impossible to establish directly, and must be inferred from the pieces he composed. For this reason, not every idea in Chapter One finds expression in the later chapters. The twin structure thus implied is, I think, emblematic of the way that music and text relate in these pieces in particular, and on more abstract levels. I hope that those with an interest in Mallarme will find some of the observations in this chapter useful on their own merits. For those interested in Debussy, the later chapters offer some new insights into the music itself, and the way that it interacts with the texts.
In this way, I hope to show that anyone who reads Mallarme patiently and carefully—as the poet demanded—may well draw conclusions similar to my own. I have also restricted myself to those texts that it is reasonable to assume that Debussy might actually have read i. As such, it is reasonable to assume that Debussy would have had access to them from Mallarme himself, or from one of their several mutual friends and acquaintances. In their work, I continue to find revelations and new directions to pursue.
In approaching Debussy's music, I use a rather free interpretation of traditional harmonic theory, Schenkerian perspectives and pc-set theory wherever they produce useful insights. I have no particular theoretical position to espouse, nor do I believe that one particular 43 analytical technique is universally valid for Debussy's oeuvre.
It seems to me that a composer who scorned system as thoroughly as Debussy cannot be completely explicated from any single perspective, and I freely admit that there are additional insights to be gained from analytical perspectives that I have not used here. The techniques I use in the pages that follow simply seem to be the most effective ones to communicate the particular point I wish to make.
The Schenkerian-style reductive graphs here are not intended to imply the same set of assumptions about the nature and function of the music as would be the case for Mozart, Beethoven or Brahms; I use them to identify important pitches and voice-leading.
Likewise, my use of Roman numerals is intended to imply discernable tonal-functional progressions in the music, even in cases where the surface of the music is more chromatic. Perhaps the most useful model for me in this regard has been the dissertation of Laurence Berman, The Evolution of Tonal Thinking in the Works of Claude Debussy, whose ability to trace how Debussy's music works inside of and occasionally against the traditional tonal system has not received the attention it deserves.
Now I do not contend that theory is or ought to be prescriptive, but it is difficult to image how Debussy could have conceived of Laurence Berman, The Evolution of Tonal Thinking in the Works of Claude Debussy. Yale University Press, 44 many of these collections as collections, rather than as enrichments of more traditional scales and harmonies with which he was certainly familiar.
To my mind, Debussy's compositional practice involves an underlying tonality that is distorted on the surface by various non-traditional scalar collections, most often the wholetone and octatonic collections. So a complete understanding of the music rests on seeing the underlying tonal syntax and the way that these other collections enrich and obfuscate that syntax. In Debussy's music, the teleological nature of tonality is counterbalanced by the more static and circular pc collections. Parks tends to treat the pc collections as independent of the tonal structure of the individual pieces, which makes it hard to see how the two are related.
Models of music and text relationships in song over the past half-century have moved steadily towards a model of reading. Critics from Edward T. Cone to Lawrence Kramer have put forward and developed the notion that in a song, what the composer sets is not the poet's poem, but the composer's reading of the poem. There is at the heart of this conception a notion of mimesis that makes me uncomfortable.
Specifically, it is the assumption that the music of a particular song was composed entirely in response to the text being set, or to a reading of that text. Following this logic, the aesthetic value of a song should be judged by how well the composer matches, follows, or illustrates the text.
For convenience, I will call this type of approach to song composition mimetic.
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Even if it were possible to prove that this mimetic model explains what a particular composer actually does in the compositional process, it would remain a poor basis for critical evaluation. No matter how carefully a composer attempted to follow the syntax, form, sound and meaning of a poem, there would 9 1 See Edward T.
The I9'h century and after Berkeley and Los Angeles: Kramer recognizes this, and is willing to concede that the process of setting a poem as song does a certain amount of violence to the text itself, regardless of how closely a composer tries to follow the text. He coins the term transmemberment to represent the often disharmonious way that poetry and music engage and read across one another in song. The music and the text of a song will each organize time in their own way, both as independent elements and also as the hybrid that is song.
Kramer's transmemberment suggests that a more complete critical reaction to song would be not only to note those places where the music and text are in accord, but also places where the musical and textual logic are unrelated or even at cross purposes. Richard Kurth has taken this notion one step further, and argued for a view of music and text relationships in song that avoids the idea that the music represents the text. Rather than seeing the music as dependent on the poem for its meaning, Kurth argues that the music already has its own meaning, generated through its own intrinsic processes.
Much as language engages a system of meanings that significantly predate the composition of any particular poem, music also emerges from a tradition with its own grammar and syntax. In this way, he argues that both the music and the poem be conceived as examples of writing as Derrida uses the term: See especially pages Kurth coins the term counter-writing to describe the ways that music and poetry write across one another in song, the one constantly informing and reconstructing the other.
My own approach to music and poetry in song borrows rather freely from Cone, Kramer and Kurth. It is also informed by Mallarme's notion of music and poetry as "the alternate faces of the Idea," a concept that will be treated more fully in Chapter One. Whatever a composer imagines the process to be, we should never lose sight of the fact that what the composer actually sets is not a reading of the poem: By "text," I mean not only the words of the poem, although these are fundamental and often to my mind strangely overlooked in many approaches to song, but also the network of meanings and relationships that accrue to the words through their engagement with literary tradition.
Thus, on one level, song is characterized by counter-writing, in that both the music and the poem are self-contained cognitive acts whose individual meanings enter into a supplementary relationship. However, song is also, simultaneously, the presentation of a particular utterance of the poem: The way that the composer crafts this utterance may privilege some aspects of the poem, be they semantic, rhythmic or phonetic, without effacing those aspects that it does not treat as significant.
Debussy's Mallarme' settings often seem crafted with this idea in mind. They preserve, to a degree uncommon in song, the rhythms and pacing of the poems, in order to ensure that the collateral damage done to the poem in the process of its setting is minimal. Kurth, "Music and Poetry," 27n. What really matters in song is the relationship between these two independent units; the way that the music and the text read and write across and through one another. Therefore, we cannot restrict ourselves to considering only those moments where they seem to be in accord, lest we make of the music simply a "bad pun" of the text or vice versa.
Both the poet's voice and the composer's voice deserve recognition, even if they speak at cross purposes or with mutual indifference. That this often leaves a textural gesture without a musical counterpart or vice versa does not concern me at all. Therefore, in the analyses that follow, I am not fundamentally concerned with showing that Debussy understood all of the finer points of Mallarme's linguistic theories as they are formulated in his critical essays and revealed in his poetry.
Likewise, I do not argue that Debussy's musical language owes a particular debt to Mallarme, a position that I find impossible to prove in any significant way. What interests me, instead, is the way that music and text work in these pieces, producing both moments of accord and discord in the process. In the case of the songs, it is Debussy's extraordinary willingness to allow Mallarme's text to emerge from the setting with its rhythm and syntax intact that preserves the poet's voice in the song. This allows Debussy's musical response, and particularly the piano parts, to convey the 9 6 Significance is used here in the sense defined by Michael Riffaterre, Semiotics of Poetry Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, , 8.
He claims that, in a song, the composer steals the poet's voice, climbs inside the poet's words and changes their meanings to reflect the composer's understanding of the text. A l l traces of this violence must then be ignored by the critic. The only meanings that count are the ones that the composer has recognized and chosen to respond to in the music. Debussy's typical sensitivity to syntactic and semantic issues in these poems also foregrounds those moments in which the music contradicts the text, writes over it and transmembers it. In the case of the Prelude, the fact that the words of Mallarme's poem are neither explicitly heard in the piece or imagined in the listener's mind during its performance allows Debussy to focus more directly on the aesthetic ideas of Mallarme, particularly those concerning music, the theater, and the way that Music expresses and figures e the Idea.
Music and musicians figure prominently in several early poems, and Mallarme frequently relied on musical metaphors to describe his poetic technique in letters to close friends. In the late s and throughout the s, music played an important role in Mallarme's evolving conception of language, which necessarily impacts both his later poetry and his prose. From through his death in , music became more important as a subject in his critical writings.
In part, this was a response to the popularity of Wagner in fin-de-siecle Paris, but it was also a reaction against several poetic movements that attempted to imitate musical effects in verse. His mature writings advocate disregarding the traditional sonorities of instruments and voices in favour of a mental music that he found in language and explored through poetry. In the early part of his career , Mallarme's desire to write a new and original kind of poetry coincided with a series of spiritual and epistemological crises.
As letters from the period testify, he became intensely interested in the relationship between the sounds of words and their meaning, which in turn inspired him to consider the formation and evolution of language. Mallarme undertook a series of informal linguistic and aesthetic studies that were crucial to the development of his mature poetic style.
The idea of music plays an important role ' For example, the instrumentiste poetry of Rene Ghil and his circle, who arbitrarily assigned both colours and musical timbres to French phonemes in the hope of imitating music and painting. From letters and the notes that remain from abandoned literary projects, as well as the poetry produced during that time, the role of music in Mallarme's early works can be studied.
Likewise his notion of a musical language based on the coincidence of phonetic and semantic relationships between words can be reconstructed. The conclusions that can be drawn from this evidence are confirmed by Les mots anglais, a pedagogical philology of the English language that applies many of these ideas about language to a foreign idiom. During the crisis, Mallarme came to believe that poetry—which is the highest expression of the musical possibilities of language—was uniquely suited to explore the mysteries of the universe.
He saw a model for a new epistemology based on the way language functions: The reality of objects in the world or words in language was important insofar as it allowed him to examine the relationships they generated. Between the end of the crisis period in and his sudden rise to prominence in , Mallarme published very little poetry. Instead, he dedicated himself to exploring the consequences of the conclusions he had drawn about language and the universe.
During this time, Mallarme began serious work on Le Livre, his vision of a great work that would summarize the history and development of the universe through poetry. This work was never finished. In the notes that remain for Le Livre, music takes on a slightly different role than in his earlier poetry. Here, music becomes a symbol for abstract patterns of thought that identify 2 Mallarme often ridiculed the commercial use of language, where the meaning of words was as arbitrarily defined and conventional as the value assigned to money.
Le Livre is dedicated to the notion that there is a unity underlying the universe that is hidden from common perception. The relationships suggested by language, be they semantic, phonetic, graphic or etymological trace relationships between the actual objects and ideas that language evokes. The music of language that Mallarme had discovered in the s now became a model for the essential relationships that make up all of existence.
Mallarme's notes for Le Livre provide evidence for the expanded role that music now plays in his thought. In , Mallarme rose to prominence and his output of both poems and critical prose increased significantly. Many of the essays deal explicitly with music. Some are dedicated to the subject of Wagner, and to outlining the essential differences between the Gesamtkunstwerk and Mallarme's own ideal synthesis of the arts in poetry. Others are more abstract and theoretical, describing the contributions of music to contemporary writing and to the Great Work. In these essays, Mallarme espouses his belief that poetry itself is music par excellence.
Actual instrumental sound, as heard at a concert for example, was for him merely a sketch of some unwritten poem awaiting its fullest expression through language. Mallarme had often attended the Lamoureux concerts from the middle of the s, and could often be seen there furiously scribbling in a notebook as the music was playing, as if trying to transcribe in language the poem latent underneath the orchestra's sonic surface.
In letters to fellow poets, he often spoke of repatriating the rhythms and techniques of music to language, which was their ultimate source, and of the challenge that Wagner's music dramas presented to a new generation of French poets. The late poetry puts into practice many of the ideas contained in the late essays, which are in essence simply further developments of Mallarme's ideas about musical language and verse in general. It draws out specific ideas about the musical nature of language from his correspondence and critical writings.
The most important of these are letters that describe the spiritual and linguistic crisis that Mallarme suffered in the s, notes from an aborted dissertation on Words that he planned in , and the book Les mots anglais, which applies many of these ideas to the English language. I then show how these ideas are transformed into poetic practice in selected poems that are all obsessed with a relatively small group of letters and phonemes shared by a large number of words in the text.
With this background established, I turn to Mallarme's concept of musical thought as revealed in letters and the notes for Le Livre. Finally, I show how Mallarme's ideas about music are further developed in some of the late critical essays and in his later poetry. L'art pour tous," which dates from He claims that a degree of mystery is necessary to protect artworks from the profaning gaze of the general population. His ideal example is musical notation, a macabre procession of "severe, chaste and unknown signs.
Poetry has no such defense from idle curiosity, since it is printed in the normal characters of the alphabet. This gives rise to the practice of teaching poetry in the schools, and 3 Mallarme, "Heresies artistiques: L'art pour tous" OC II, As the polemical work of a twenty-year-old poet, "Heresies artistiques" provides a sketch of certain aspects of Mallarme's mature aesthetic.
Certainly, there are derivative elements in the essay, particularly Mallarme's valorization of Wagner, which at this point in time is largely borrowed from Baudelaire's essay on Tannhauser, published the previous year.
But from this point forward in Mallarme's career, the connection between music and poetry and the need to make poetic language musical become recurring themes in both his poetry and his critical essays. The search for a new language, one that could answer the ambition of "Heresies artistiques," became an obsession for Mallarme in the following years. Letters from the period between and indicate that this search was transformed into a study of words, and a careful consideration of the relationship between sound and sense in them. In a long letter to Henri Cazalis, Mallarme speaks of the hours of research spent on each word for the poem "L'Azur" so that "the first word, which contains the first idea, not only helps to create the 5 It does not occur to Mallarme to mention that that although the casual onlooker may not be able to read musical notation, anyone who can hear has access to music as sound, and virtually anybody who hears a piece of music feels entitled to have an opinion of it, exactly the same situation that he decries in poetry.
There is no evidence that Mallarme ever made a pilgrimage to Bayreuth. The effect produced, without a dissonance, without a fioritura, no matter how appealing, for that distracts—this is what I'm seeking. For those who, like yourself, seek in a poem something other than the music of the verses, they will find a real drama there. And it has been a terrible difficulty to combine, in proper harmony, the dramatic element, hostile to the idea of pure and subjective Poetry, with the serenity and the calmness of the lines essential for Beauty.
Here, the poet is oppressed by the very Azur that inspires him. Letter to Cazalis, January Ceffet produit, sans une dissonance, sans une fioriture, meme adorable, qui distraie - voila ce que je cherche. Et c'a ete une terrible difficulte de combiner, dans une juste harmonie, l'element dramatique, hostile a l'idee de Poesie pure et subjective, avec la serenite et le calme de [sic] lignes necessaires a la Beaute. See La religion de Mallarme: Poesie, mythologie et religion Paris: Fuyant, les yeux fermes, je le sens qui regarde Avec l'intensite d'un remords atterrant, Mon ame vide.
Et quelle nuit hagarde Jeter, lambeaux, jeter sur ce mepris navrant? Et toi, sors des etangs leth6ens et ramasse En t'en venant la vase et les pales roseaux Cher Ennui, pour boucher d'une main jamais lasse Les grands trous bleus que font mechamment les oiseaux. Car j 'y veux, puisque enfin ma cervelle, videe Comme le pot de fard gisant au pied du mur N'a plus 1'art d'attifer la sanglotante idee Lugubrement bailler vers un trepas obscur L'Azur triomphe, et je l'entends qui chante Dans les cloches.
Mon ame, il se fait voix pour plus Nous faire peur avec sa victoire mechante, Et du metal vivant sort en bleus angelus! II roule par la brume, ancien et traverse Ta native agonie ainsi qu'un glaive sur Oil fuir dans la revoke inutile et perverse? Blue Sky The serene contradiction of the eternal Azure Overwhelms, beautifully indolent like the flowers The impotent poet who curses his genius Across a sterile desert of Sorrows. Fleeing, eyes closed, I feel it watching With the intensity of a dismal remorse, My empty soul.
And what haggard night To cast, shreds, to cast on this unfortunate scorn? And you, come out from Lethean pools and gather In your coming the slime and the pale reeds Dear Boredom, to block with a tireless hand The great blue holes that the birds spitefully dig. Even though without respite the sad chimneys Smoke, and though the soot, a wandering prison Chokes in the horror of its black streaks The sun dying yellow on the horizon!
For there I want, because finally my brain, empty Like ajar of makeup lying up against the wall No longer has the ability to dress up the sobbing idea To yawn lugubriously towards an obscure death
Related Quand le destin sen mêle (Prelud) (French Edition)
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