Petit Glossaire by Jaques Plowert, Patrick McGuinness, Paul Adam
This glossary, published in 1888, is the only work of its kind produced by Decadent and Symbolist writers themselves, and is full of ‘definitions’ as mystifying as the words they claim to define. It offers both a scholarly and a humorous examination of linguistic innovation and succeeds in showing how literary language remains subtler and more alive than any of the instruments designed to explain it.
A parody of a glossary as much as a glossary proper, and produced as a response to critical accusations of obscurity and preciosity, it assembles an extraordinary array of evocative, hermetic, and often bizarre examples of Symbolist and Decadent writing, including luminaries such as Mallarmé, Rimbaud, Laforgue and Verlaine as well as such writers as Fénéon, Moréas and René Ghil. This is a volume in the series Textes littéraries/Exeter French Texts. The text, intorudction and essential notes are all in French.