The Rhetoric of Valéry's Prose Aubades
While Paul Valéry's lyric poetry, as well as his dialogues, dramatic work, and critical prose, have preoccupied his critics, his prose poems have been virtually ignored and his position in the tradition of the genre has remained unacknowledged. This study demonstrates the significance of Valéry as a prose poet and of the form and its evolution in the poet's oeuvre. The close textual reading and analysis concentrate on Valéry's prose aubades – the prose poems, poetic prose fragments, and sequences celebrating the emergence of the self and its world at dawn.
The theme of dawn pervades Valéry's poetry from the opening chord of Charmes to those Notebooks which he kept from almost half a century and which are the source of so much of his poetry. This book shows how the moment and theme of dawn have also inspired the greater part of Valéry's prose poems and poetic prose fragments.
Critics have begun to show interest in the break-up of traditional genres and in the emergence of the fragment as a new literary form. But Valéry's position in this development has so far escaped critical inquiry, as have his prose poems in general. Professor Franklin redresses the balance with rigor, poise, and elegance. She shows how Valéry's artistic progression from the traditional prose poem to the fragment, the evolution of the recueil to the sequence, represents a development very similar to that manifests in another new prose form, the new nouveau roman. It is a brilliant analysis of a neglected aspect of Valéry's work and a thoughtful interpretation of Valéry's thought and poetics as a whole.
- Series: Heritage
- World Rights
- Page Count: 168 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
Author InformationUrsula Franklin is a professor emerita of the Department of Modern Language and Literature at Grand Valley State Colleges, Allendale, Michigan, and author of An Anatomy of Poesis: The Prose Poems of Stéphane Mallarmé.
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