By Margueritte S. Murphy
From its inception in nineteenth-century France, the prose poem has embraced a classy of outrage and innovation instead of culture and conference. during this suggestive learn, Margueritte S. Murphy either explores the heritage of this style in Anglo-American literature and gives a version for interpreting the prose poem, regardless of language or nationwide literature. Murphy argues that the prose poem is an inherently subversive style, one who needs to without end undermine prosaic conventions so one can validate itself as authentically "other". whilst, each one prose poem needs to to some extent recommend a conventional prose style which will subvert it effectively. The prose poem is therefore of certain curiosity as a style during which the normal and the hot are introduced necessarily and continuously into clash.
Beginning with a dialogue of the French prose poem and its adoption in England by means of the Decadents, Murphy examines the consequences of this organization on later poets similar to T.S. Eliot. She additionally explores the belief of the prose poem as an androgynous style. Then, with a sensitivity to the sociopolitical nature of language, she attracts at the paintings of Mikhail Bakhtin to light up the ideology of the style and discover its subversive nature. the majority of the ebook is dedicated to insightful readings of William Carlos Williams's Kora in Hell, Gertrude Stein's gentle Buttons, and John Ashbery's 3 Poems. As outstanding examples of the yankee prose poem, those works show the variety of this genre's radical and experimental chances.
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Additional info for A tradition of subversion: the prose poem in English from Wilde to Ashbery
The form was clearly French, and prose poems by Aloysius Bertrand, Charles Baudelaire, Stéphane Mallarmé, and others now less known, like Pierre Louÿs and Henri de Régnier, served as important models. Yet the artistic prose of aesthetic criticism offered a prominent indigenous prototype. " Beyond the valorization of prose for itself, or for its style, the exchange of terminology among art forms and endless analogies between different media offered a vocabulary for describing prose poemsa poetry lacking rhyme, meter, or stanza formas, for instance, painted tableaux, or musical compositions.
Chapter 1, basically historical in nature, surveys the period of transfer, when the French prose poem was first introduced to the English and American reading public by the fin-de-siècle generation. At the time, the gesture to write prose poems was both scandalously "French" and flagrantly anticanonical, representing an association with the French avant-garde. This interest in the genre among the Decadents, however, tended to taint it for subsequent generations of poets, resulting in an Page 7 early, yet significant discontinuity in the tradition.
The message is less direct than in a simple parable or fable, and the prose does not show the same interest in mimeticism as underlies a realist novel. 26 Read intertextually, this prose poem communicates a "message" about the fate of the fin-de-siècle prose poem. "The Stairway" begins with the description of a figure, "a fantastic beast, Dragon or Chimera" on display at the foot of a stairway. Seen "in the sifted light of a window whose panes, in the shape of lozenges, are enchased in a network of lead," this grotesque twists the coils of its tail and unclasps its sharp claws.