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Poetic Becomings

Studies in Contemporary French Literature


Jérôme Game

What does contemporary French poetry do to the subject? This book examines the means and effects of the subject’s transmutation into various processes of (de-)subjectivation by looking at the works of four contemporary writers: Christian Prigent, Dominique Fourcade, Olivier Cadiot and Hubert Lucot. The author explores their work in the context of Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy, building a critical apparatus – a ‘poetics of becoming’ – that informs close readings of poems and prose. Moving beyond established criteria of classical literary criticism, the book both offers a comparative discussion of Deleuze’s notions of literature and provides new insights into French writing, addressing the political dimension of contemporary poetry from the perspective of current theoretical radicalism.


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Chapter 2 - Dominique Fourcade, or a Poetics of the Rhizome 107


Chapter 2 Dominique Fourcade, or a Poetics of the Rhizome le Je que nous sommes se reconnaît en s’abîmant dans la neutralité d’un Il sans figure.1 je pense mettre en route une écriture encore beaucoup plus dérivante dont je n’ai pas idée aujourd’hui.2 In all of his books, each time dif ferently, Dominique Fourcade invents a machine to seize, highlight and erode the materiality of the real and of signs. These texts produce a world in the image of their own precariousness. Their structural evanescence, the ephemerality of the senses they display, are each to be experienced in the ef f lorescence of their soundings. They are signs to capture, disperse and re-assemble the epoch. Beach-like writing, stretched as metapoetic surface, there is nothing fortuitous or arbitrary in it. Everything is played (the saying, what is to be said) in the constrained tension, the momentum, the suspension of words, verses, sentences-to-be, lines. It is a question of rhythm, of composition, and of music. What is to be read in the end is at once a body and a thought assembled in a previ- ously unheard language. Dominique Fourcade’s first collections – Epreuves du pouvoir, Lessive du loup, Une vie d’homme and Nous du service des cygnes3 – were inf luenced 1 M. Blanchot, L’Espace littéraire (Paris: Gallimard, 1955), p. 26. 2 D. Fourcade, interview with C. Royet-Journoud, Banana Split 11 (August–December 1983), pp. 18–29. 3 Paris: José Corti, 1961; Paris: GLM, 1966; Paris: GLM, 1969;...

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