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A Mazing of the Text

The Search for Signification in the Labyrinth of French Poetics

Series:

Margaret M. Bolovan

Poetry that employs images and structures of the labyrinth simultaneously involves the poet's contemplative wanderings or deeper descents into self while searching for meaning. As a mythic symbol, the labyrinth also extends outside of any individual work, necessitating intertextual analysis in the quest to unravel the labyrinthine threads left in the «mille longs détours» of French poetic discourse. A Mazing of the Text explores the multifaceted nature of the labyrinth as manifest in selected French texts from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. Works by Joachim Du Bellay, Théophile de Viau, Saint-Amant, Thomas Corneille, Jean Racine, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Marguerite Yourcenar are examined in light of the metaphorical reflective capacity and the pluridimensional quality of mythic signification.