Mid-Century French Poets: Selections, Translations, and Critical Notices

Mid-Century French Poets: Selections, Translations, and Critical Notices

Mid-Century French Poets: Selections, Translations, and Critical Notices

Mid-Century French Poets: Selections, Translations, and Critical Notices

Excerpt

Ever since the rich period of Symbolism, in fact, ever since the work of the two leading forerunners of symbolism, Nerval and Baudelaire, French poetry has been obsessed with the idea of purity. To achieve poetry of a "pure state" has been the persistent ambition of a century of literary, and specifically, poetic, endeavor. This ambition is to create poetry that will live alone, by itself and for itself. In a very deep sense, it is poetry of exile, narrating both the very real exile of Rimbaud from Charlevine and from Europe, and Mallarmé's more metaphysical exile within his favorite climate of absence. In this effort of poetry to be self-

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