Invisible Fences: Prose Poetry as a Genre in French and American Literature

By Steven Monte | Go to book overview

Notes

1. Origins of the Prose Poem
1.
All translations are mine unless otherwise noted. When the original, foreign- language text is a poem or a work I discuss in some detail, I include the original version and a translation in the text. For other foreign-language texts, I provide a translation without the original for works that are relatively available and otherwise include the original in a footnote. Left out of these considerations are epigraphs like the one for this chapter, which are not accompanied by the original texts.
2.
Bernard, Le Poème en prose, 22. Bernard traces the term back to a remark the abbé du Bos made in 1700: “ces poèmes en prose que nous appelons Romans” (these prose poems that we call Novels). In La Tradition française, Pierre Moreau quotes the same phrase as coming from a letter of Boileau to Charles Perrault (3). Moreau also quotes a 1688 use of “poème en prose” and a 1663 example of “poète en prose.”
3.
Cervantes, Don Quixote, 479.
4.
See, for example, the Poetics, section 1447b. There are also several passages in the Rhetoric that suggest something like poetry in prose, and Quintilian's carmen solutum (“loosed poem”) is of some interest in this matter (Institutiones Oratoriae, Book 10, section 1).
5.
For the eighteenth-century usage of “poème en prose” as primarily figurative, see Bernard, Le Poème en prose, 22—23.
6.
See Watt, Rise of the Novel, 52.
7.
Terdiman, Discourse/Counterdiscourse. Terdiman makes this point clear by quoting a November 1882 letter from Huysmans to Flaubert that indicates that the prose poem, more than poetry in general, was a terrifying notion to the average bourgeois (272).
8.
From the preface to Lyrical Ballads (Wordsworth, Selected Poems, 451).
9.
Abrams, Mirror and the Lamp, especially chapters 4, 8, and 11.
10.
Clayton, Prose Poem in French Literature, 151.
11.
See Bernard, Le Poème en Prose, 25, and Clayton, Prose Poem in French Literature, especially 75. See also Tieghem, Ossian en France. The emphasis on the primitive receives a classic expression in Schiller's notion of “naïve” poetry.
12.
See Tieghem, Le Préromantisme.

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Invisible Fences: Prose Poetry as a Genre in French and American Literature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Invisible Fences - Prose Poetry as a Genre in French and American Literature *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Note on Terminology *
  • Introduction *
  • 1. - Origins of the Prose Poem and Theories of Genre *
  • 2. - A Wide Field of Prose Possibilities *
  • 3. - Poetry in a Prosaic World *
  • 4. - The Makings of a Genre *
  • 5. - The Emergence of Prose Poetry in English *
  • 6. - The Idea of an American Prose Poem, Take One *
  • 7. - The Idea of an American Prose Poem, Take Two *
  • 8. - Negative Dialectics *
  • Conclusion *
  • Notes *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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