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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 4 - Hubert Lucot, or the Writing of Duration 189


Chapter 4 Hubert Lucot, or the Writing of Duration Quelque chose se dessine, toujours, l’un des filaments du devenir.1 Les humains vivent de façon linéaire un monde à n dimensions. Ecrire c’est donc restaurer, faire renaître ce monde à n dimensions que l’on a oublié. C’est une repossession, une re-maîtrise, un retour sur le monde, sur soi-même, sur le temps. Le temps est regagné de l’intérieur.2 Cesser de se penser comme un moi, pour se vivre comme un f lux, un ensemble de f lux, en relation avec d’autres f lux, hors de soi et en soi.3 The lightness of touch of a writing that has the reader feel duration; the slowing down of time; the insistence of the past within the present; the latter’s sheer materiality; prose as crystal refracting several temporalities at once and the becoming at work in all of them: that is the tour de force of Hubert Lucot’s recent œuvre. It is achieved by figuring the opalescent and lumpy consistency of a stratified past made of accumulated layers mutat- ing out of their contiguity and inter-crossing in the narrator’s memory/ discourse. In Lucot’s writing there is no totality of perception and experi- ence – not even fragmentary – to be grasped from “above”, from the cogito, as if reading a map. The movement of prose is that of a kaleidoscope with no refracting sides – hence without a predefined structure either. In this 1 H. Lucot, Probablement (Paris: P.O.L., 1999), p. 23. Citations from...

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