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Essays in French Literature, Thought and Culture


Elizabeth Lindley and Laura McMahon

As they oscillate and flow between action and aesthetics, habit and creativity, rhythms are vital to our understanding of how subjectivities are constructed upon the shifting borderlines between life and art. Yet whilst rhythm remains an established concept in studies of French poetry, this is the first major overview to address the centrality of rhythm in fields such as literature, philosophy, dance and film, and to link these debates across periods and disciplines within French Studies. Drawing on thinkers such as Deleuze and Guattari, Kristeva, Lefebvre, Meschonnic, and Virilio, the authors explore the concept of rhythms in relation to questions of temporality and the everyday, technology and the city, poetry and autobiography, space and the body in performance. In a wide-ranging series of innovative, theoretical and close readings, they examine issues which include the poetics of Mallarmé and Bonnefoy, the writings of Ernaux, Perec, Réda and Zobel, the choreography of Merce Cunningham and the cinema of Chris Marker.
Contents: Elizabeth Lindley/Laura McMahon: Introduction – Helen Abbott: Reading and Deciphering: Mallarmé’s Rhythmic Sensation – Matthias Zach: Rhythms in Poetic Translation: Bonnefoy and Shakespeare – Ariane Kossack: Between Poetry and Philology: Rhythms of the Orphic Myth in Mallarmé’s Aesthetics – Brenda Garvey: Rhythms, Repetitions and Rewritings in Passion Simple by Annie Ernaux – Luke Sunderland: The (Future) Perfect Knight: Repetition in the Cycle de Guillaume d’Orange – Dee Reynolds: Kinesthetic Rhythms: Participation in Performance – Louise Hardwick: Dancing the Unspeakable: Rhythms of Communication in ‘Laghia de la mort’ by Joseph Zobel – Gerald Moore: Clockwork Politics: Rhythm and the Production of Time in Mauss, Benjamin and Lefebvre – Michael Sheringham: Everyday Rhythms, Everyday Writing: Réda with Deleuze and Guattari – Sophie Fuggle: Le Parkour: Reading or Writing the City? – Lisa Villeneuve: The Urban Experience of Placelessness: Perceptual Rhythms in Georges Perec’s Un homme qui dort – Ian James: The Rhythm of Technology? Paul Virilio on Temporality and Modern Media – Jennifer Valcke: Rhythmical Images and Visual Music: Montage in French Avant-Garde Cinema – Jenny Chamarette: A Short Film About Time: Dynamism and Stillness in Chris Marker’s La Jetée.