'Perspectives on the role of Punctuation in Rimbaud's Illuminations'

Gerald Macklin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article examines the experimental use of punctuation in Rimbaud's Illuminations. It argues that this new type of punctuation is central to Rimbaud's conception of the prose poem . His audacious and plastic idiom in the Illuminations is enriched by his imaginative and unpredictable deployment of dashes, parentheses, capitalization, exclamation marks, italics and other such features. It is very much part of his "alchimie du verbe" and creates a new type of scansion for his new prose poem form. Beginning with dashes, the article seeks to shoe how the "tiret" has a range of functions in the collection being linked to colour and sound effects, to particular types of finale and to pivotal structural moments in poems. We also find thick accumulations of dashes at moments of key visionary breakthrough. The piece then considers how parentheses and italics figure in the Illuminations as agents of reorientation and mystification enhancing the complexity and enigmatic quality of many poems. This creates a sense of dépaysement as does the widespread capitalization in the collection which adds to the mystery of so many characters - Lulu, the Vampire, H. Exclamation marks are also used prolifically and at times we find an explosion of some or all of the above elements of punctuation to startling effect for the reader as in 'Barbare' and 'Nocturne vulgaire'. This deployment of punctuation is equally apparent in areas of Une Saison en enfer and Rimbaud's dynamic punctuation should be seen in the context of his desire to discover a new language to express the inexpressible.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages59-72
    JournalJournal of European Studies
    VolumeXX
    Publication statusPublished - 1990

    Fingerprint

    Punctuation
    Illumination
    Italics
    Exclamation
    Capitalization
    Prose Poem
    Poem
    Scansion
    Reader
    Mystery
    Language
    Finale
    Sound Effects
    Vampires
    Shoes
    Conception
    Nocturne
    Idioms
    Mystification

    Keywords

    • punctuation
    • dash
    • parentheses
    • italics

    Cite this

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    title = "'Perspectives on the role of Punctuation in Rimbaud's Illuminations'",
    abstract = "This article examines the experimental use of punctuation in Rimbaud's Illuminations. It argues that this new type of punctuation is central to Rimbaud's conception of the prose poem . His audacious and plastic idiom in the Illuminations is enriched by his imaginative and unpredictable deployment of dashes, parentheses, capitalization, exclamation marks, italics and other such features. It is very much part of his {"}alchimie du verbe{"} and creates a new type of scansion for his new prose poem form. Beginning with dashes, the article seeks to shoe how the {"}tiret{"} has a range of functions in the collection being linked to colour and sound effects, to particular types of finale and to pivotal structural moments in poems. We also find thick accumulations of dashes at moments of key visionary breakthrough. The piece then considers how parentheses and italics figure in the Illuminations as agents of reorientation and mystification enhancing the complexity and enigmatic quality of many poems. This creates a sense of d{\'e}paysement as does the widespread capitalization in the collection which adds to the mystery of so many characters - Lulu, the Vampire, H. Exclamation marks are also used prolifically and at times we find an explosion of some or all of the above elements of punctuation to startling effect for the reader as in 'Barbare' and 'Nocturne vulgaire'. This deployment of punctuation is equally apparent in areas of Une Saison en enfer and Rimbaud's dynamic punctuation should be seen in the context of his desire to discover a new language to express the inexpressible.",
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    author = "Gerald Macklin",
    note = "Reference text: Rimbaud, Oeuvres, ed. S.Bernard and A.Guyaux, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 1987 H. Bouillane de Lacoste Rimbaud et le probl{\`e}me des Illuminations, Mercure de France, Paris, 1949 P.Lapeyre Le Vertige de Rimbaud, cl{\'e} d'une perception po{\'e}tique, Editions de la Baconni{\`e}re, Neuch{\^a}tel, 1981 P.Bonnefis 'Onze notes pour fragmenter un texte de Rimnaud, 'Entends comme brame'', LITTERATURE, octobre 1973, pp. 46-67 G Macklin 'A study of Beginnings and Finales in Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations', NEOPHILOLOGUS, LXVIII, 1984, pp.22-36 R.Little Rimbaud Illuminations, Critical Guides to French Texts, no.29, Grant and Cutler, London, 1983 G.Macklin 'The Theatrical Imagination of Arthur Rimbaud', FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES, XXIII, no. 2, 1987, pp.131-150 R.Barthes Le Degr{\'e} z{\'e}ro de l'{\'e}criture, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1972 Rimbaud, Oeuvres, {\'e}dition de Suzanne Bernard, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 1960 A>Kittang Discours et jeu: analyse des textes d'Arthur Rimbaud, Grenoble University Press, Grenoble, 1975 Arthur Rimbaud Illuminations, edited by Nick Osmond, The Athlone Press, London, 1975 A.Py Rimaud Illuminations, Droz, Geneva, 1967 N.Wing Present Apperaances: Aspects of Poetic Structure in Rimbaud's Illuminations, Romance Monographs Inc., University, Mississippi, 1974 J.P.Houston The Design of Rimbaud's Poetry, Yale University Press, New Haven and Lonodn, 1963 Oeuvres compl{\`e}tes de Guillaume Apollinaire, {\'e}dition {\'e}tablie sous la direction de Michel D{\'e}caudin, IV, Ballard et Lecat, Paris, 1966",
    year = "1990",
    language = "English",
    volume = "XX",
    pages = "59--72",
    journal = "Journal of European Studies",
    issn = "0047-2441",

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    'Perspectives on the role of Punctuation in Rimbaud's Illuminations'. / Macklin, Gerald.

    In: Journal of European Studies, Vol. XX, 1990, p. 59-72.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    N2 - This article examines the experimental use of punctuation in Rimbaud's Illuminations. It argues that this new type of punctuation is central to Rimbaud's conception of the prose poem . His audacious and plastic idiom in the Illuminations is enriched by his imaginative and unpredictable deployment of dashes, parentheses, capitalization, exclamation marks, italics and other such features. It is very much part of his "alchimie du verbe" and creates a new type of scansion for his new prose poem form. Beginning with dashes, the article seeks to shoe how the "tiret" has a range of functions in the collection being linked to colour and sound effects, to particular types of finale and to pivotal structural moments in poems. We also find thick accumulations of dashes at moments of key visionary breakthrough. The piece then considers how parentheses and italics figure in the Illuminations as agents of reorientation and mystification enhancing the complexity and enigmatic quality of many poems. This creates a sense of dépaysement as does the widespread capitalization in the collection which adds to the mystery of so many characters - Lulu, the Vampire, H. Exclamation marks are also used prolifically and at times we find an explosion of some or all of the above elements of punctuation to startling effect for the reader as in 'Barbare' and 'Nocturne vulgaire'. This deployment of punctuation is equally apparent in areas of Une Saison en enfer and Rimbaud's dynamic punctuation should be seen in the context of his desire to discover a new language to express the inexpressible.

    AB - This article examines the experimental use of punctuation in Rimbaud's Illuminations. It argues that this new type of punctuation is central to Rimbaud's conception of the prose poem . His audacious and plastic idiom in the Illuminations is enriched by his imaginative and unpredictable deployment of dashes, parentheses, capitalization, exclamation marks, italics and other such features. It is very much part of his "alchimie du verbe" and creates a new type of scansion for his new prose poem form. Beginning with dashes, the article seeks to shoe how the "tiret" has a range of functions in the collection being linked to colour and sound effects, to particular types of finale and to pivotal structural moments in poems. We also find thick accumulations of dashes at moments of key visionary breakthrough. The piece then considers how parentheses and italics figure in the Illuminations as agents of reorientation and mystification enhancing the complexity and enigmatic quality of many poems. This creates a sense of dépaysement as does the widespread capitalization in the collection which adds to the mystery of so many characters - Lulu, the Vampire, H. Exclamation marks are also used prolifically and at times we find an explosion of some or all of the above elements of punctuation to startling effect for the reader as in 'Barbare' and 'Nocturne vulgaire'. This deployment of punctuation is equally apparent in areas of Une Saison en enfer and Rimbaud's dynamic punctuation should be seen in the context of his desire to discover a new language to express the inexpressible.

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