ISBN-10:
0674032403
ISBN-13:
9780674032408
Pub. Date:
06/15/2009
Publisher:
Harvard
Divagations

Divagations

by Stéphane Mallarmé, Barbara E. Johnson

Paperback

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Overview

"This is a book just the way I don't like them," the father of French Symbolism, St phane Mallarm , informs the reader in his preface to Divagations "scattered and with no architecture." On the heels of this caveat, Mallarm 's diverting, discursive, and gorgeously disordered 1897 masterpiece tumbles forth--and proves itself to be just the sort of book his readers like most.

The salmagundi of prose poems, prose-poetic musings, criticism, and reflections that is Divagations has long been considered a treasure trove by students of aesthetics and modern poetry. If Mallarm captured the tone and very feel of fin-de-si cle Paris, he went on to captivate the minds of the greatest writers of the twentieth century--from Val ry and Eliot to Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida. This was the only book of prose he published in his lifetime and, in a new translation by Barbara Johnson, is now available for the first time in English as Mallarm arranged it. The result is an entrancing work through which a notoriously difficult-to-translate voice shines in all of its languor and musicality.

Whether contemplating the poetry of Tennyson, the possibilities of language, a masturbating priest, or the transporting power of dance, Mallarm remains a fascinating companion--charming, opinionated, and pedantic by turns. As an expression of the Symbolist movement and as a contribution to literary studies, Divagations is vitally important. But it is also, in Johnson's masterful translation, endlessly mesmerizing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674032408
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 06/15/2009
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 1,169,123
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 2.70(d)

About the Author

Barbara Johnson taught in the departments of English and Comparative Literature at Harvard University and was the Frederic Wertham Professor of Law and Psychiatry in Society. She is the author of The Critical Difference, A World of Difference, and The Wake of Deconstruction.

Table of Contents

Autobiography

Preface

Anecdotes or Poems

The Phenomenon of the Future

Autumn Lament

Winter Shudder

The Demon of Analogy

Poor Pale Child

The Pipe

An Interrupted Performance

Reminiscence

The Fairground Declaration

The White Waterlily

A Man of the Cloth

Glory

Conflict

Volumes on My Divan

Long Ago, in the Margins of a Copy of Baudelaire

Capsule Sketches and Full-Length Portraits

Piece: A Brief Summary of Vathek

Villiers de l'Isle-Adam

Verlaine

Arthur Rimbaud

Laurent Tailhade

Beckford

Tennyson Viewed from Here

Théodore de Banville

Edgar Poe

Whistler

Edouard Manet

Berthe Morisot

Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner: The Reverie of a French Poet

Scribbled at the Theater

Scribbled at the Theater

Hamlet

Ballets

Another Study of Dance: The Fundamentals of Ballet

"The Only One Would Have To Be as Fluid as the Sorcerer"

Mimesis

Of Genre and the Moderns

Parenthesis

Stages and Pages

Solemnity

Music and Letters

Music and Letters

Crisis of Verse

Crisis of Verse

About the Book

Restricted Action

Displays

The Book as Spiritual Instrument

The Mystery in Letters

Services

Sacred Pleasure

Catholicism

The Same

Important Miscellaneous News Briefs

Gold

Accusation

Cloisters

Magic

Bucolic

Solitude

Confrontation

The Court

Safeguard

Mallarmé's Bibliography

Translator's Note

What People are Saying About This

All Barbara Johnson's critical work over the years on modern French poetry and on Mallarmé in particular informs her handling of each syntactically complex phrase, each tenuous preposition, each ellipsis, each shift in tone, each aside, each mild joke. It has been not only a pleasure but very often a revelation to me to read through this translation. Barbara Johnson's Divagations are going to launch a stunning, vital (by no means transparent) Mallarmé not seen before.

Kevin McLaughlin

The translation is outstanding, and the collection (arranged according to the French writer's own plan) makes available in English a much fuller sample of Mallarmé's remarkable and influential prose writings than was previously available. This book makes a major contribution to modern literary studies and aesthetics.

Kevin McLaughlin, Brown University

Ann Smock

All Barbara Johnson's critical work over the years on modern French poetry and on Mallarmé in particular informs her handling of each syntactically complex phrase, each tenuous preposition, each ellipsis, each shift in tone, each aside, each mild joke. It has been not only a pleasure but very often a revelation to me to read through this translation. Barbara Johnson's Divagations are going to launch a stunning, vital (by no means transparent) Mallarmé not seen before.

Ann Smock, author of What Is There To Say?

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