Without Rhyme Or Reason: Gaspard de la Nuit and the Dialectic of the Prose Poem
On 29 April 1841, a week after his thirty-fourth birthday, Louis (Aloysius) Bertrand died of tuberculosis. This malady, his destitute poverty, and his errant existence qualify him as a quintessential poete maudit, whose one great work, Gaspard de la Nuit: Fantasies a la maniere de Rembrandt et de Callot, was not published until 1842. Now widely considered as the first collection of prose poems to appear in France, Gaspard inspired writers like Baudelaire, Mallarme, Huysmans, and Andre Breton. This study offers a rereading of Bertrand's book grounded in modern critical theory, including the work of Derrida, Bakhtin, Barbara Johnson, Genette, Lacoue-Labarthe, and Nancy. It elaborates a new perspective on a work that contains all the paradoxes of the genre, with which theorists still struggle.
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The Prefaces to the Prose Poem
Gaspard de la Nuit
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Aloysius Bertrand Aloysius Bertrand Paris ambivalence aspect Bakhtin Barbara Johnson Baudelaire Baudelaire's beginning Bertrand's text Blanc Breton Callot carnival carnivalesque chapter character Charles Nodier cited complete d'une death decrowning Derrida Deux Juifs devil dialectic dialogue Dijon Dissemination double dream dwarf elements epigraph erased example exists fantasies finally fragment fragmentary totality Gallimard Gaspard grotesque Gueux de Nuit Haarlem Hegel Hugo hymen intertextual Jacques Jacques Derrida Jean Ricardou LaCapra lantern laughter Literary Absolute Louis Bertrand Mallarme Mallarme's Marquis d'Aroca Max Milner metaphor nain narrative narrator night Nouveau roman Oeuvres organization ouroboros paradigmatic paragraph paratext parody Petits poemes Poeme en prose poet poetic poetique prose and poetry prose poem prose poetry Rabelais reader recounting Reve Revue Richard Sieburth Riffaterre romantic romanticism Scarbo Slott Spleen de Paris Sprietsma stanza story Suzanne Bernard swarm symbol syntagmatic synthesis theory tion trand unity whole writes