Beyond The Consensus Of Incompatibility: Francophone Poetry And The Question Of The Political
Vartolomei Pribiag, Ioana
This dissertation discusses the problems that emerge when poetic language is essentialized, when it is treated as entirely separate from other linguistic or social practices or as uniquely capable of revealing a certain kind of truth, political or otherwise. I show that key twentieth century theorists of both literary autonomy and literary engagement agree that poetic language and political action are incompatible. I examine the ways in which this "consensus of incompatibility" persists in the works of philosophers such as Theodor Adorno and Jacques Rancière, who, on the surface, seem to champion a crucial politics of the aesthetic. By contrast, I argue that poetic works point toward the limits of autonomy just as much as they also extend beyond any ideological or moral position, and beyond politics. In this light, my work examines a multiplicity of relationships between poetic language and the sociopolitical, focusing especially on postcolonial thought and Francophone literature. I propose multidimensional readings of Aimé Césaire, René Depestre, Michèle Lalonde and Gaston Miron that highlight the political context, thought and action of poetic works and their poeticity. Along the way, I create novel theoretical and intertextual dialogues, juxtaposing Jacques Rancière and Homi Bhabha, reading Lalonde together with 1960s American television and billboard ads, Depestre along with Langston Hughes, and Miron in parallel with lyrical passages of Frantz Fanon.
Poetry; Postcolonial; Francophone
Berger, Anne Emanuelle; Klein, Richard Jay
Ph. D., Romance Studies
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis