The Re-Creative Modernism in Stéphane Mallarmé’s Late Sonnets, T. S. Eliot’s "Poems</I>, and the Prose Poetry since Charles-Pierre Baudelaire
Chapter Four. Poetic as Encyclopedic: The Prose Poetry in Reunifying Enlightenment
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The Prose Poetry in Reunifying Enlightenment
As a development of Baudelaire’s theorized experiment, Stéphane Mallarmé’s prose poem “Frisson d’hiver” is characterized by three stylistic features: repetition, self-reflection, and clarity.
The repetition is marked, since the tragic expression in three words “toiles d’araignées” is foregrounded by parentheses three times in the restricted framework of the snapshot narrative.
As for self-reflection, it is concretized in various forms in the poem: for instance, the dialogic structure posited by the separate paragraphs, the deictic stress on the mirroring object (“Cette pendule de Saxe”), and the intertextual retrospection.
Mallarmé’s readable poem can easily be recognized as a reworking of the prose poetry by Baudelaire, this poet of “frisson nouveau,” the qualification by Hugo since 1859.1 The notable place name in the poem, “Venise,” may be viewed as an anagram of “Paris.” Moreover, the key phrase in the Mallarmé poem, “ta glace de Venise,” represents a paraphrase of Le Spleen de Paris, the general title of Baudelaire’s collected prose poems. The word “Spleen” puns on “screen,” a sort of mirror, or “glace” in French.
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