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La poésie de René Char, pleine de réflexions profondes et de vérités simples, exprimées le plus souvent en petits fragments denses et allusifs, exige que le lecteur renonce à ses conditionnements linguistiques, à ses vieux modes de lecture et d'analyse littéraires, à ses attentes langagières. Confronté à des poèmes à la fois fascinants et déroutants, le lecteur aura en effet à travailler assidûment avec le texte pour accéder aux sens recelés dans ses vers incisifs et sommaires.
Dans son étude sur la poésie éclatée du poète, Rosemary Lancaster examine comment le texte charien, en rompant avec les normes du discursif, initie le lecteur aux forces insoupçonnées de la langue; à son sémantisme caché, à son potentiel créateur, à son grand pouvoir suggestif. Cette poésie, à première vue rébarbative, est en fait riche de sens imprévus, de formules saisissantes et révélatrices, d'aperçus pénétrants sur la vie, la vocation du poète, le rôle de la poésie, l'art d'écrire.
Dans la ligne des expérimentations artistiques de ses alliés substantiels et grands astreignants - Braque, Picasso, Vieira da Silva, Héraclite, Rimbaud... - Char se consacre héroïquement à la quête d'une langue qui mettra l'homme en contact direct avec ses meilleures aspirations expressives, ses ressources imaginatives inexploitées et ses dons créateurs secrets.
Cet ouvrage, en aidant le lecteur à aplanir les difficultés immédiates de l'oeuvre de Char, l'invite à accompagner le poète dans son périple au pays des mots.
In: Poetic Illumination
In: Poetic Illumination
In: Poetic Illumination

Abstract

In 1926 Colette, already a celebrated French novelist, bought a villa in Saint-Tropez to seek refuge from public intrusion and years of emotional turmoil. There she settled into a routine of gardening, swimming, and writing, while delighting in the beauty of her surroundings. Nature had long been an inspiration, a subject of her writing, and a link to a childhood spent rambling in the countryside of her native Burgundy. In the semi-autobiographical Break of Day (La Naissance du Jour, published in 1928) the heroine avoids a complicated relationship at a time of mid-life crisis, seeking peace and fulfilment by indulging in her proximity to the flora and fauna of southern terrains. In Colette’s novel the language of pleasure, expressive of pleasure in nature, attains the lyrical heights for which she remains renowned.

In: Women Writing on the French Riviera

Abstract

The British Elizabeth David and American Julia Child published their first cookery books in 1950 and 1961 respectively. David had visited Antibes and the Mediterranean at the height of the Second World War and returned to England in 1946, inspired by the southern diet and convinced that the blandness of postwar rationed food could affordably be revised. The result was momentous: her book sold prolifically, and her name became a household word. Her recipes were notably simple, the content authentic, and the writing evocative and culturally informed. In 1953 Julia Child, a recently qualified Cordon Bleu cook, accompanied her husband to Marseille, where she delighted in the liveliness of the markets and fishing harbour, and the range and abundance of fresh produce: a stark contrast with American supermarkets and their stocks of frozen and packaged foods. Unlike David’s regard for ambience, colourful asides, and discursiveness she opted for plain prose, methodical directions, and an unfussy approach. Yet both women seduced their readers, broadened culinary habits, and brought Continental cooking to the tables of their compatriots.

In: Women Writing on the French Riviera

Abstract

In 1920 Katherine Mansfield, suffering from tuberculosis, convalesced in Menton, at the time a medically favoured destination for the respiratorily ill. By then a burgeoning writer and prolific diarist and correspondent, her literary aspirations and optimism for the future seemed secure. Her letters in particular reveal her delight in her Mediterranean environment even as her condition progressively declined. Yet the frequent absences of her husband John Middleton Murry, a neglectful partner but necessary confidant, were increasingly rued. The stories she wrote in Menton are studies in human frailty and loneliness. In ‘Life of Ma Parker’ and ‘The Man Without a Temperament’ themes of illness and mortality echo the vulnerability of her condition and highlight the lot of those left to ail or die on southern shores.

In: Women Writing on the French Riviera

Abstract

In the 1920s the British writer Rebecca West frequently holidayed on the Riviera. Already an intransigent critic of class inequalities, human pretentiousness, and unevenly apportioned capitalist wealth, she garnered fictional material in the South via first-hand observations of the shallowness and extravagances of its privileged rich. Her 1936 novel The Thinking Reed, set partly in Antibes, is peopled by the kind of indolent and self-serving visitors who partied and gambled on the Riviera in the 1920s with scant regard for moral standards and human welfare. While West exploits her Riviera scenario to satirize the excesses of an era before the 1929 Wall Street Crash, she posits a case, elaborated in her non-fictional writings, for social awareness and individual resistance to the profligate and inequitable societies she believed capitalist ideals ubiquitously bred.

In: Women Writing on the French Riviera
In: Women Writing on the French Riviera
In: Women Writing on the French Riviera