Chapter

Verse after Verlaine, Rime after Rimbaud

Edited by Marc C. Conner

in The Poetry of James Joyce Reconsidered

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039763
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043159 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813039763.003.0004
Verse after Verlaine, Rime after Rimbaud

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This essay pursues a detailed examination of Joyce's poetic language along with the relation of Chamber Music to his later prose writings. Focusing on Joyce's response to the contrary examples of Verlaine and Rimbaud as he begins to explore the modes of modernist poetry, the essay argues that Joyce's “creative translation or mistranslation” of precursor poets reveals a nascent hard and critical modernity that pushes against the poems' apparent sentimentality and archaism. In a far-ranging study of Joyce's uses of orality and aurality, the essay reveals the connections between the early poems and Joyce's final poetic utterances in Finnegans Wake, all of which depend upon an oblique use of language, a “cambering” of utterance that shifts words away from poetic constraints, then back again to poetic forms.

Keywords: Chamber Music; Poetic language; Verlaine; Rimbaud; Modernist poetry; Modernity; Orality; Aurality; Finnegans Wake

Chapter.  10372 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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