A tradition of subversion: the prose poem in English from by Margueritte S. Murphy

By Margueritte S. Murphy

From its inception in nineteenth-century France, the prose poem has embraced a classy of concern and innovation instead of culture and conference. during this suggestive examine, Margueritte S. Murphy either explores the historical past of this style in Anglo-American literature and gives a version for analyzing the prose poem, without reference to language or nationwide literature. Murphy argues that the prose poem is an inherently subversive style, person who needs to endlessly undermine prosaic conventions with the intention to validate itself as authentically "other". even as, every one prose poem needs to to a point recommend a standard prose style so that it will subvert it effectively. The prose poem is therefore of precise curiosity as a style within which the conventional and the recent are introduced unavoidably and always into clash.

Beginning with a dialogue of the French prose poem and its adoption in England by way of the Decadents, Murphy examines the consequences of this organization on later poets comparable to T.S. Eliot. She additionally explores the belief of the prose poem as an androgynous style. Then, with a sensitivity to the sociopolitical nature of language, she attracts at the paintings of Mikhail Bakhtin to light up the ideology of the style and discover its subversive nature. the majority of the publication is dedicated to insightful readings of William Carlos Williams's Kora in Hell, Gertrude Stein's smooth Buttons, and John Ashbery's 3 Poems. As extraordinary examples of the yankee prose poem, those works show the variety of this genre's radical and experimental probabilities.

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Extra resources for A tradition of subversion: the prose poem in English from Wilde to Ashbery

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But it is her will that wins out, and he, the "adorer," is also the source of the illusions represented by the "ligne arabesque"the spiral stairway, the twisting Chimera, and the en- Page 26 chanting designs of the muted tapestries. So, not only is his will and desire denied, but also, in light of the gender distinctions of Baudelaire's thyrsus, he has assumed the feminine role, has been indeed feminized by his illusions and purposeless adoration. The "bâton"will, intention, unity of aimis, in one sense, usurped by the woman, but only to deny and negate; as a part of the symbolic decor, this "bâton" is instead a vacancythe center of the spiral stairway, the gaping maw of the sinuous Chimera.

These tenets of aestheticism would seem to open a fertile field for the introduction of the prose poem in the nineties, and indeed, prose poems by Decadent writers do appear. The form was clearly French, and prose poems by Aloysius Bertrand, Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, and others now less known, like Pierre Louÿs and Henri de Régnier, served as important models. Yet the artistic prose of aesthetic criticism offered a prominent indigenous prototype. " Beyond the valorization of prose for itself, or for its style, the exchange of terminology among art forms and endless analogies between different media offered a vocabulary for describing prose poemsa poetry lacking rhyme, meter, or stanza formas, for instance, painted tableaux, or musical compositions.

Ligne droite et ligne arabesque, intention et expression, roideur de la volonté, sinuosité du verbe, unité du but, variété des moyens, amalgame tout-puissant et indivisible du génie, quel analyste aura le détestable courage de vous diviser et de vous séparer? 29 (Wouldn't you say that the curved line and the spiral court the straight line, and dance around it, in mute adoration? . The staff, it is your will, straight, firm and unshakable; the flowers, these are the strolling of your fantasy around your will; it is the feminine element executing its marvellous pirouettes around the male.

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