TitleLe poète en personnes: mises en scène de soi et transformations de l’écriture chez Blaise Cendrars, Guillaume Apollinaire et Max Jacob
NameDickow, Alexander Robert (author), Dessons, Gerard (chair), Francois, Cornilliat (internal member), Derek, Schilling (internal member), Christian, Doumet (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
World War, 1914-1918—Literature and the war,
Avant-garde (Aesthetics) ,
Experimental poetry, French,
Cendrars, Blaise, 1887-1961--Criticism and interpretation,
Jacob, Max,--1876-1944--Criticism and interpretation,
Apollinaire, Guillaume,--1880-1918--Criticism an interpretation
DescriptionThis dissertation examines the diversification of styles and representations of the poet in the work of Blaise Cendrars, Max Jacob and Guillaume Apollinaire. The works studied extend from 1912 to 1919, the war-torn period during which these writers established their careers as initiators of the post-Symbolist avant-garde. Their work exhibits proliferating and contradictory presentations of the poet, often assigned to fictional speakers. By turns self-deprecating and self-glorifying, it displays disorienting shifts in style and technique, and various forms of textual reappropriation: pastiche or
parody, allusion or quotation. Consequently, these poets’ writing displays no single recognizable style, making self-presentation even more unstable. A poetics of self-display necessarily investigates the relationship of self to others, to collective entities such as a network of contributors to a literary journal, writers espousing a given style or trend, or society at large. These writers’ experiments with form take into account the forum of expression (books versus periodicals) as well as the
circumstances, whether those of world war or of literary polemic. This esthetic of ostentatious self-presentation runs counter to a crucial trend in modern and contemporary poetry in which the figure of the poet tends to disappear. Mallarmé had first announced this “disappearance of the poet,” followed by Paul Valéry.
Yet self-effacement and excessive self-display both bear witness to the same questioning of the poet’s place in the world beyond the boundaries of art. To ask “who is speaking” in the poem entails questions of value and legitimacy: on what grounds, from which
position, with what right the poet speaks. If the poet no longer has a clear social or symbolic role, he may remove himself from the poem under the pretext that his particular existence has no relevance, or he may decide to exploit the indeterminacy of his status to play all the roles he desires: magus, oracle, soldier, pariah, etc. Jacob, Apollinaire et Cendrars opt for this masquerade that manifests at once an anxiety – does the poet no
longer have a role to play? – and an aspiration: to become universal, to speak at last for all humankind by becoming each individual in turn.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Alexander Robert Dickow
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.