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Book Reviews quasi théorique» dont resplendit par exemple un poème critique comme Le Mystère dans les Lettres , naquirent elles aussi «entourées de l'été, près de l'eau de la Seine, non loin des ombrelles de jeunes filles en fleur»? Ou que «des tableaux impressionnistes formaient le fond perpétuel» de ces conversations où les visiteurs à Valvins, mardistes en canotier, bicyclistes de passage, faisaient assaut d'intelligence et qu'on dissertait la nuit, sous des ciels «pleins de coups de dés extraordinaires »? A l'agrandissement panoramique que gagne soudain l'œuvre de Mallarmé, frappée au sceau de cette sorte d'idéogramme spirituel qu'en viennent à former les sept lettres qui composent le nom magique de Valvins, se mesure la réussite d'une entreprise dont le genre littéraire de la biographie offre finalement peu d'exemples. Occupation rêveuse de l'espace et du temps, écrit d'une plume légère promenée à la surface des jours, dans le massif de sierras et d'ardèches sous lequel les délicates inventions du poète de la rue de Rome étaient en train tout doucement de s'asphyxier , le livre de Jean-Luc Steinmetz ouvre de grands dégagements qui sont pour le lecteur comme autant d'appels d'air. Philippe Bonnefis Emory University Mallarmé in the Twentieth Century. Eds. R. G. Cohn and G. Gillespie. Cranbury, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP/Mississauga, Ont.: Associated UP, 1998. Pp. 298. $43.50. Timed to appear for the centenary of Stéphane Mallarmé's death in 1998, the volume under review grew out of a 1996 conference held at Stanford University. This accounts for the local flavor of part of this volume; many of the contributors are from California, and one senses üiat they came together as much in homage to Robert Greer Cohn, a towering figure in Mallarmé studies , as to talk about the poet. This importance of this collection of essays is certainly not local, however; they are even in their quality, ranging from very good to major. As with the centennial of any major writer, 1998 saw a wealth of activity in the form of symposia , publications, and even a splendid exhibition at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. Yet, with Mallarm é as the central figure in these celebrations, one sometimes had the feeling that more was at stake in this celebration than solely his œuvre, as magnificent as it is, that much of what we are today—or at least the way we think—bears the hereditary imprint of that work. Such, anyway, has always been the vigorously argued position of Cohn, for whom the twentieth century would be, in a very important sense, unthinkable without Mallarmé. This collection of essays is certainly meant to demonstrate that centrality. The book is divided into six sections on "Primary Aspects" (language, theater, music, art); textual commentaries (the -yx sonnet, Hérodiade, "Les Fenêtres"); translating Mallarmé; Mallarm é's literary influence (Joyce, Celan, German modernists, the Hispanic world); "Affinity and Indigestion" (Mallarmé and Basho, Tolstoy's dislike of Mallarmé); and a concluding essay by Cohn. To round out essays by American and French critics are pieces that were translated for this volume from the Japanese, Spanish, and Russian. Aside from Cohn's essay, there are several contributions (all excellent) from scholars associated with Mallarmé studies. The late Anna Balakian offers a reading of the "Ouverture" for Hérodiade, showing how the poet created dramatic space. Mary Ann Caws returns to one of her favorite topics, Mallarmé's influence on, and affinity with, painters, here Joseph Cornell. Julia Kristeva again takes up the theme of revolutionary language to put forward here a political understanding of Mallarmé's poetics as an anarchist spiritualism. Two new specialists are the Japanese scholar Takeo Kawase (a solid discussion of "Les Fenêtres" and Ute importance of Baudelaire in Mallarmé's poetics) and the Russian scholar Roman Doubrovkine (an informative analysis of Tolstoy's attacks on Mallarmé to discredit symbolist tendencies in Russian literature). Vol. XL, No. 3 109 L'Esprit Créateur Most of the contributors are not Mallarméans, however, and for those of us...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 109-110
Launched on MUSE
2010-06-24
Open Access
No
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