Abstract

This article examines Igitur by Stéphane Mallarmé and the central importance of light. For Mallarmé the word "light" is interchangeable with conscience, science, and also with the past participle of the verb "lire" as it is included in the word "lumière." Igitur's descent in the dark staircase symbolically indicates the development of universal language through the reading of a grimoire or a book of magic spells written by the genius of the poets of the past. When this development is achieved, the poet and the ideal beauty effectuate a mutual but distant communion by transforming themselves into two torches.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1536-0172
Print ISSN
0146-7891
Pages
pp. 287-306
Launched on MUSE
2012-05-25
Open Access
No
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