'Aspects of the Rimbaldian Prose Poem: Pattern and Disorder in the Illuminations'

Gerald Macklin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The article sets out to consider a number of formal features of the Illuminations and proceeds from this basis to suggest an approach to the Rimbaldian prose poem. Central to the paper is the argument that, while Rimbaud clearly turns to prose poetry as a means of emancipation from the restrictive conventions of verse, the Illuminations are by no means an example of random or unstructured writing. Rather they should be viewed as texts in which Rimbaud exploits the freedom from traditional rules of prosody while simultaneously developing new formal patterns which become defining characteristics of his version of the prose poem. The article anlayses several specific features of these prose poems which either create recognizable forms or structures in the collection or, alternatively, destabilize them by engendering an artistically fasinating discontinuity. In the former category are included Rimbaud's consciously fashioned beginnings and finales, his numerous litanical patterns and his adoption of the "conte" model in several pieces. In the latter category the paper considers Rimbaud's use of odd or foreign terms, his unpredictable rhythmical variations and his highly unconventional deployment of punctuation. Finally, it is argued that this blend of pattern and disorder is a typically Rimbaldian reconciliation of opposites and a key principle of his prose poetry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)248-292
    JournalOrbis Litterarum
    Volume45
    Publication statusPublished - 1990

    Bibliographical note

    Reference text: Rimbaud, Oeuvres ed.S.Bernard and A.Guyaux, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 1983

    Apollinaire Alcools Poésie Gallimard, Paris, 1920

    S.Bernard Le Poème en prose de Baudelaire jusqu'à nos jours, Nizet, Paris, 1959

    R.Barthes Le Degré zéro de l'écriture, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1972

    R.Jakobson Questions de poétqiue, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1973

    R.Faurisson 'A-t-on lu Rimbaud?', La Bibliothèque volante, Paris, 1971

    J-P Richard Poésie et profondeur, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1955

    J.P.Houston The Design of Rimbaud's Poetry, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1963

    C.A.Hackett Rimbaud, Bowes and Bowes, London, 1957

    R.Little Rimbaud Illuminations, Critical Guides to French Texts, no.29, Grant and Cutler, London, 1983

    N.Wing Present Appearances: Aspects of Poetic Structure in Rimbaud's Illuminations, Romance Monographs Inc., University, Mississippi, 1974

    P.Hamon 'Narrativité et lisibilité. Essai d'analyse d'un texte de Rimbaud', POETIQUE, 40, 1979, pp.453-464

    G.Macklin 'The Theatrical Imagination of Arthur Rimbaud', FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES, vol. XXIII, no.2, 1987, pp.131-150

    R.Little 'Light on Rimbaud's 'Baou'', FRENCH STUDIES BULLETIN, no.10, spring 1984, pp.3-7

    P.Lapeyre Le Vertige de Rimbaud, clé d'une perception poétique, Editions de la Baconnière, Neuchâtel, 1981

    'Une complication de texte: les Illuminations', POETIQUE, 34, avril, 1978, pp.241-253

    Arthur Rimbaud, Illuminations edited by Nick Osmond, The Athlone Press, London, 1976

    C.Chadwick 'La Poésie des Illuminations' in Arthur Rimbaud (2), hommage anglo-saxon, REVUE DES LETTRES MODERNES, Paris, 1973

    G.Macklin 'The Dialectic of "force" and "faiblesse" in Rimbaud's Illuminations', NOTTINGHAM FRENCH STUDIES, vol.17, no.2, 1978, pp.24-35

    Keywords

    • prose poem
    • structure
    • pattern
    • disorder

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of ''Aspects of the Rimbaldian Prose Poem: Pattern and Disorder in the Illuminations''. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this