Stephane Mallarme

May 10, 2006

Stephane Mallarme1.jpg
(1842-1898)

French poet
Symbolist writer (most compulsive visionary): particular symbolism builds on allusion and suggestion to evoke a virtual reality, a richer dimension he prefers to ordinary limited realism
Escapes into art- seeks a way out of sordid reality through the liberating power of the imagination
Works to purify language: uses ordinary words and concrete images as raw material for a wholly imaginary creation
Emphasis on absence and silence
Themes of artistic creation, dream, and loss

Quotations:

"To name an object is largely to destroy poetic enjoyment, which comes from gradual divination.  The ideal is to suggest the object.  It is the perfect use of this mystery which constitutes symbol.  an object must be gradually evoked in order to show a state of soul."

-The Evolution of Literature

"When I say: 'a flower!' then from that forgetfulness to which my voice consigns all floral form, something different from the usual calces arises, something all music, essence, and softness: the flower which is absent from all boquets."

-Crisis in Poetry

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