Objects Observed: The Poetry of Things in Twentieth-Century France and America
Objects Observed explores the central place given to the object by a number of poets in France and in America in the twentieth century. John C. Stout provides comprehensive examinations of Pierre Reverdy, Francis Ponge, Jean Follain, Guillevic, and Jean Tortel. Stout argues that the object furnishes these poets with a catalyst for creating a new poetics and for reflecting on lyric as a genre. In France, the object has been central to a broad range of aesthetic practices, from the era of Cubism and Surrealism to the 1990s. In the heyday of American Modernism, several major poets foregrounded the object in their work; however, in postwar twentieth-century America, poets moved away from a focus on the object. Objects Observed illuminates the variety of aesthetic practices and positions in French and American poets from the years of high Modernism (1909–1930) to the 1990s.
- Series: University of Toronto Romance Series
- World Rights
- Page Count: 336 pages
- Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
"The focus of Stout’s analysis of modern poetry and the object is on the lyrical dimensions to the various types of elucubration written on both sides of the Atlantic, and with good English translations from the French in parallel, Objects Observed examines how poets envision the object, not least the human (and specifically male) body."
Andrew Stafford, University of Leeds
"John C. Stout’s treatment of object poetry in French and American poetry is authoritative, balanced, and insightful. Objects Observed is a pleasure to read, and succeeds admirably in remaining engaging from start to finish. Stout is judicious in his discussions of the poets and their focus on objects. He chooses representative critical references to elucidate his assessment of each poet’s embrace of the poetic object, while masterfully linking ideas, illustrating them with appropriate, and expertly translated, excerpts."
Glenn Fetzer, Professor of French, Department of Languages and Linguistics, New Mexico State University
"Objects Observed will be of great interest to specialists in French or American poetry. A pleasure to read, John C. Stout wears his learning lightly, and there are few endnotes given the breadth of reference."
Emma Wagstaff, Lecturer in French Studies, Department of Modern Languages, University of Birmingham
Author InformationJohn C. Stout is an associate professor in the Department of French at McMaster University.
Table of contents
One: The Object In Modernism In The United States And France
Two: Cubism And The Poetry Of The Object: Pierre Reverdy’s Aesthetics Of Impersonality
Three: The Text As Object: Francis Ponge’s Verbal Still Lifes
Four: Description As Transfiguration: Jean Follain’s (Meta)Poetics Of The Object
Five: The Object As (M)other: Guillevic’s Poetry And Object-Relations Theory
Six: Jean Tortel’s Poetics Of The Desiring Gaze
Seven: L’objet apres l’objet: Contemporary French Poetry
Subjects and Courses