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Intersections, Interferences, Interdisciplines

Literature with Other Arts


Edited By Haun Saussy and Gerald Gillespie

This volume advances the study of how the high arts and literature are reciprocally illuminating and interactive. Seventeen scholars from North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe demonstrate the dynamics of cross-referentiality and mixtures involving also newer and popular arts and media: photography, film, video, comics, dance, opera, computer imaging, and more. They consider an expanded universe of discourses embracing contemporary science as well as traditional subject matters. Discussions of theoretical and methodological approaches keep company here with intensively focused case studies of works in which discourses and media establish new relationships. Together, the chapters constitute a dazzling introduction to the diverse realm of imaginative products that the human mind can conjure in pondering the «when», «where», and «how» of existence.
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The Artist’s Book/Book-object as “Frontiére habitable”. Literature, Art and Creative Continuity in Michel Butor’s Works


← 138 | 139 →The Artist’s Book/Book-object as “Frontière habitable”

Literature, Art and Creative Continuity in Michel Butor’s Works


Université de La Rochelle (France)

In “Frontière habitable,” the twelfth section of a long poem with the title “Méditation sur la Frontière” (Oeuvres complètes, vol. 9: 339), Michel Butor examines the idea of the border as a “vibrating membrane,” a place not simply of transgression, or limit, but one with loving communion and creative possibility:

Ainsi la frontière surmontée devient membrane vibratoire, aussi bien celle qui produit le son que celle qui le reçoit. Elle devient le lieu où deux territoires se pressent amoureusement, le contact de leurs deux peaux. La frontière dédoublée délivrée s’anime en couple qui danse, dessinant son ombre et sa flamme sur les parois de la caverne Terre, et conquérant l’espace en ses enlacements.

[So the crossed border becomes a vibrating membrane, both that which produces the sound and that which receives it. It becomes the place where two territories press together lovingly, the contact of their skin. The double delivered border comes alive as a dancing couple, drawing its shadow and its flame on the walls of cave Earth and conquering space with its embraces]. (My translation)

In this essay, I examine how Michel Butor’s work with artists inhabits the frontier between art and literature, making this...

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