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Music and Poetry in France from Baudelaire to Mallarmé

An essay on poetic theory and practice

University of Durham

The book assesses the influence of music on the ideas and poetic practice of a number of late nineteenth-century poets. Particular attention is paid to the effect that the musical model supposedly had on the traditional ways of writing poetry, especially in the key areas of rhythm, sound-repetition and imagery. The chapters on Baudelaire and Mallarmé relate their ideas on music to their more general theories of art and poetry and at the same time provide a suitable framework for a critical and evaluative discussion of the Symbolist poets' contribution to the music-poetry debate in the 1880s and 1890s.