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On poetry and politics

Bajorek, Jennifer and Trudel, Eric, eds. 2008. On poetry and politics. Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA: University of Illinois. ISBN 978-0-252-03280-6 [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

Jean Paulhan was a legendary editorial figure of twentieth-century French literature, assisting and publishing many of the most important writers of his lifetime. He was also the author of several volumes of fiction and numerous essays dealing with literature, art, rhetoric, and language. Yet he published his own work in a manner that deliberately kept it inconspicuous, or as Maurice Blanchot put it, "in the margins." A critics' critic, he gave his texts the same scrupulous attention he gave to others, and was recognized as a discreet master. But when he was sufficiently upset or angry, as he was when French politics endangered the intellectual freedom of French writers and writing, he published ferociously.

This volume is the first English translation of these major essays, presenting in one book the development of his thinking on his most studied subject: how language works, or, to echo Blanchot again, how literature is possible. Much of contemporary literary theory finds its modern antecedents in Paulhan's essays. He reflected on large questions such as the philosophy and psychology of literature, while at the same time showing a concern for detail and aesthetic accomplishment. He constantly emphasized the act of reading as an activity and literature as the engagement and provocation of such activity. Beloved by writers because he took the problems of writing with the utmost seriousness, his own personal style was marked by self-effacement and irony.

Item Type:

Edited Book

Additional Information:

TLS REVIEW INFO:
Jean Paulhan — On Poetry and Politics; edited and translated by Jennifer Bajorek, Eric Trudel and Charlotte Mandell
Author: Ian Pindar
Publisher: [London, Times Newspapers Ltd.]
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication: TLS, the Times literary supplement. (July 16, 2010): 7
Peer-reviewed
Database: ArticleFirst

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)

Date:

2008

Item ID:

5077

Date Deposited:

06 Apr 2011 09:16

Last Modified:

07 Dec 2012 12:55

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/5077

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