Chapter

Yves Bonnefoy: Notes of an Adirer

Joseph Frank

in Responses to Modernity

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239252
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823239290 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823239252.003.0006
Yves Bonnefoy: Notes of an Adirer

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Yves Bonnefoy knew the works of Fyodor Dostoevsky perfectly and called him, in a lecture of 1979, the greatest of novelists, but there are also good historical grounds for asserting that, besides Dostoevsky, other aspects of early twentieth-century Russian culture provided an essential element his formation. One was Boris de Schloezer, who played a significant role in France's cultural and particularly musical life as critic en titre for the Nouvelle revue française until his death in 1969. Among Bonnefoy's translations were several works of the émigré Russian philosopher Lev Chestov, including Le Pouvoir des clefs, which played an important role in his own literary and spiritual development. Bonnefoy's own elucidation of the essential creative intuition from which his poetry springs bears an uncanny resemblance to William Wordsworth's description of those “spots of time” that furnished him, Wordsworth, with poetic inspiration.

Keywords: Yves Bonnefoy; poetry; Fyodor Dostoevsky; Boris de Schloezer; France; Lev Chestov; William Wordsworth

Chapter.  7344 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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