'The Theatrical Imagination of Arthur Rimbaud'

Gerald Macklin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article explores the theatrical inspiration in Rimbaud's vision and expression. It argues that theatricality is intrinsic to Rimbaud's poetry and that it manifests itself in a host of ways throughout the canon. From characters to stage lighting, from musical and operatic elemnts to all types of performances, Rimbaud's work is replete with references to the stage world. A variety of critics have identified these elements but there has been no coherent, sustained analysis of the phenomenon. The article identifies the range of theatrical terminologuy in Rimbaud's work and then begins its detailed analysis by a consideration of Rimbaud's decors and mises en scène. From there we move to the function of colour and light which can be seen in 'Le Bateau ivre' and is such a feature of the Illuminations in poems like 'Métropolitain' and 'Aube'. Song and music also feature prominently and the piece examines Rimbaud's self -definition as an "opéra fabuleux". All of these elements at times fuse, especially in Rimbaud's poèmes-fête where he conjures up celebratory performances linked to epiphany as in 'Parade'. Rimbaud himself revels in a multiplicity of imaginative identities in his poetry and in the Illuminations he is the inventor, the child, the sage, the mystic, the musician tio name but a few of his preferred roles.This can be traced throughout his poetry as can his notion that the poem istelf becomes a performance. Again, it is in the Illuminations that this feature is most manifest through poems like 'Parade', 'Scènes' and 'Fairy'. We see poems as tales or prayers with irony and parody used in these instances; particularly arresting beginnings and finales; and a dynamic deployment of punctuation. The prose poems become special linguistic performances as Rimbaud lays on a poetic "parade" for his readers.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages131-150
    JournalForum for Modern Language Studies
    VolumeXXIII
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1987

    Fingerprint

    Poem
    Poetry
    Illumination
    Parade
    Intrinsic
    Poetics
    Epiphany
    Song
    Reader
    Punctuation
    Fairy
    Prose Poem
    Names
    Multiplicity
    Linguistic Performance
    Parody
    Theatricality
    Canon
    Prayer
    Musicians

    Keywords

    • theatricality
    • decor
    • lighting
    • music
    • performance

    Cite this

    Macklin, Gerald. / 'The Theatrical Imagination of Arthur Rimbaud'. In: Forum for Modern Language Studies. 1987 ; Vol. XXIII, No. 2. pp. 131-150.
    @article{265553be1a0b4642bb43112d332831e6,
    title = "'The Theatrical Imagination of Arthur Rimbaud'",
    abstract = "This article explores the theatrical inspiration in Rimbaud's vision and expression. It argues that theatricality is intrinsic to Rimbaud's poetry and that it manifests itself in a host of ways throughout the canon. From characters to stage lighting, from musical and operatic elemnts to all types of performances, Rimbaud's work is replete with references to the stage world. A variety of critics have identified these elements but there has been no coherent, sustained analysis of the phenomenon. The article identifies the range of theatrical terminologuy in Rimbaud's work and then begins its detailed analysis by a consideration of Rimbaud's decors and mises en sc{\`e}ne. From there we move to the function of colour and light which can be seen in 'Le Bateau ivre' and is such a feature of the Illuminations in poems like 'M{\'e}tropolitain' and 'Aube'. Song and music also feature prominently and the piece examines Rimbaud's self -definition as an {"}op{\'e}ra fabuleux{"}. All of these elements at times fuse, especially in Rimbaud's po{\`e}mes-f{\^e}te where he conjures up celebratory performances linked to epiphany as in 'Parade'. Rimbaud himself revels in a multiplicity of imaginative identities in his poetry and in the Illuminations he is the inventor, the child, the sage, the mystic, the musician tio name but a few of his preferred roles.This can be traced throughout his poetry as can his notion that the poem istelf becomes a performance. Again, it is in the Illuminations that this feature is most manifest through poems like 'Parade', 'Sc{\`e}nes' and 'Fairy'. We see poems as tales or prayers with irony and parody used in these instances; particularly arresting beginnings and finales; and a dynamic deployment of punctuation. The prose poems become special linguistic performances as Rimbaud lays on a poetic {"}parade{"} for his readers.",
    keywords = "theatricality, decor, lighting, music, performance",
    author = "Gerald Macklin",
    note = "Reference text: Rimbaud, Oeuvres, ed. S.Bernard & A.Guyaux, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 1987 S.Bernard Le Po{\`e}me en prose de Baudelaire jusqu'{\`a} nos jours, Nizet, Paris, 1959 Rimbaud, Oeuvres, {\'e}dition de S.Bernard, Garnier, Paris, 1980 Y.Bonnefoy Rimbaud, Editions du Seuil, Ecrivains de toujours, Paris, 1961 J.Plessen Promenade et Po{\'e}sie: L'Exp{\'e}rience de la marche et du mouvement dans l'oeuvre de Rimbaud, Mouton, The Hague, 1967 A.Py Rimbaud Illuminations, Droz, Geneva, 1967 N.Wing Present Appearances: Aspects of Poetic Structure in Rimbaud's Illuminations, Romance Monographs Inc., University, Mississippi, 1974 A.Kittang Discours et jeu: essai d'analyse des textes d'Arthur Rimbaud, Grenoble University Press, Grenoble, 1975 Arthur Rimbaud Illuminations, edited by Nick Osmond, The Athlone Press, London, 1976 P.Lapeyre Le Vertige de Rimbaud, cl{\'e} d'une perception po{\'e}tique, Editions de la Baconni{\`e}re, Neuch{\^a}tel, 1981 R.Little Rimbaud, Illuminations, Critical Guides to French Texts, no.29, Grant and Cutler, London, 1983 J.P.Houston The Design of Rimbaud's Poetry, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1963 Baudelaire Oeuvres compl{\`e}tes II, texte {\'e}tabli, pr{\'e}sent{\'e} et annot{\'e} par Claude Pichois, Gallimard, Biblioth{\`e}que de la Pl{\'e}iade, Paris, 1976 Verlaine Oeuvres po{\'e}tiques, {\'e}dition de Jacques Robichez, Editions Garnier fr{\`e}res, Paris, 1969 Y.Bonnefoy Le Nuage rouge, Mercure de France, Paris, 1977 J.-P.Richard Po{\'e}sie et profondeur, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1955 G.Macklin 'The dialectic of {"}force{"} and {"}faiblesse{"} in Rimbaud's Illuminations', NOTTINGHAM FRENCH STUDIES, vol.17, no.2, 1978, pp.24-35 Baudelaire, Oeuvres compl{\`e}tes I, texte {\'e}tabli, pr{\'e}sent{\'e} et annot{\'e} par Claude Pichois, Gallimard, Biblioth{\`e}que de la Pl{\'e}iade, Paris, 1976 R.Little 'Light on Rimbaud's 'Baou'', FRENCH STUDIES BULLETIN, no.10, spring 1984, pp.3-7 R.Barthes Le Degr{\'e} z{\'e}ro de l'{\'e}criture, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1972 G.Macklin 'A Study of Beginnings and Finales in Rimbaud's Illuminations', NEOPHILOLOGUS, vol.68, 1984, pp.22-36 P.Hamon 'Narrativit{\'e} et lisibilit{\'e}. Essai d'analyse d'un texte de Rimbaud'. POETIQUE, vol. 40, 1979, pp.453-464",
    year = "1987",
    language = "English",
    volume = "XXIII",
    pages = "131--150",
    journal = "Forum for Modern Language Studies",
    issn = "0015-8518",
    number = "2",

    }

    Macklin, G 1987, ''The Theatrical Imagination of Arthur Rimbaud'', Forum for Modern Language Studies, vol. XXIII, no. 2, pp. 131-150.

    'The Theatrical Imagination of Arthur Rimbaud'. / Macklin, Gerald.

    In: Forum for Modern Language Studies, Vol. XXIII, No. 2, 1987, p. 131-150.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - 'The Theatrical Imagination of Arthur Rimbaud'

    AU - Macklin, Gerald

    N1 - Reference text: Rimbaud, Oeuvres, ed. S.Bernard & A.Guyaux, Classiques Garnier, Paris, 1987 S.Bernard Le Poème en prose de Baudelaire jusqu'à nos jours, Nizet, Paris, 1959 Rimbaud, Oeuvres, édition de S.Bernard, Garnier, Paris, 1980 Y.Bonnefoy Rimbaud, Editions du Seuil, Ecrivains de toujours, Paris, 1961 J.Plessen Promenade et Poésie: L'Expérience de la marche et du mouvement dans l'oeuvre de Rimbaud, Mouton, The Hague, 1967 A.Py Rimbaud Illuminations, Droz, Geneva, 1967 N.Wing Present Appearances: Aspects of Poetic Structure in Rimbaud's Illuminations, Romance Monographs Inc., University, Mississippi, 1974 A.Kittang Discours et jeu: essai d'analyse des textes d'Arthur Rimbaud, Grenoble University Press, Grenoble, 1975 Arthur Rimbaud Illuminations, edited by Nick Osmond, The Athlone Press, London, 1976 P.Lapeyre Le Vertige de Rimbaud, clé d'une perception poétique, Editions de la Baconnière, Neuchâtel, 1981 R.Little Rimbaud, Illuminations, Critical Guides to French Texts, no.29, Grant and Cutler, London, 1983 J.P.Houston The Design of Rimbaud's Poetry, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1963 Baudelaire Oeuvres complètes II, texte établi, présenté et annoté par Claude Pichois, Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, 1976 Verlaine Oeuvres poétiques, édition de Jacques Robichez, Editions Garnier frères, Paris, 1969 Y.Bonnefoy Le Nuage rouge, Mercure de France, Paris, 1977 J.-P.Richard Poésie et profondeur, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1955 G.Macklin 'The dialectic of "force" and "faiblesse" in Rimbaud's Illuminations', NOTTINGHAM FRENCH STUDIES, vol.17, no.2, 1978, pp.24-35 Baudelaire, Oeuvres complètes I, texte établi, présenté et annoté par Claude Pichois, Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, Paris, 1976 R.Little 'Light on Rimbaud's 'Baou'', FRENCH STUDIES BULLETIN, no.10, spring 1984, pp.3-7 R.Barthes Le Degré zéro de l'écriture, Editions du Seuil, Paris, 1972 G.Macklin 'A Study of Beginnings and Finales in Rimbaud's Illuminations', NEOPHILOLOGUS, vol.68, 1984, pp.22-36 P.Hamon 'Narrativité et lisibilité. Essai d'analyse d'un texte de Rimbaud'. POETIQUE, vol. 40, 1979, pp.453-464

    PY - 1987

    Y1 - 1987

    N2 - This article explores the theatrical inspiration in Rimbaud's vision and expression. It argues that theatricality is intrinsic to Rimbaud's poetry and that it manifests itself in a host of ways throughout the canon. From characters to stage lighting, from musical and operatic elemnts to all types of performances, Rimbaud's work is replete with references to the stage world. A variety of critics have identified these elements but there has been no coherent, sustained analysis of the phenomenon. The article identifies the range of theatrical terminologuy in Rimbaud's work and then begins its detailed analysis by a consideration of Rimbaud's decors and mises en scène. From there we move to the function of colour and light which can be seen in 'Le Bateau ivre' and is such a feature of the Illuminations in poems like 'Métropolitain' and 'Aube'. Song and music also feature prominently and the piece examines Rimbaud's self -definition as an "opéra fabuleux". All of these elements at times fuse, especially in Rimbaud's poèmes-fête where he conjures up celebratory performances linked to epiphany as in 'Parade'. Rimbaud himself revels in a multiplicity of imaginative identities in his poetry and in the Illuminations he is the inventor, the child, the sage, the mystic, the musician tio name but a few of his preferred roles.This can be traced throughout his poetry as can his notion that the poem istelf becomes a performance. Again, it is in the Illuminations that this feature is most manifest through poems like 'Parade', 'Scènes' and 'Fairy'. We see poems as tales or prayers with irony and parody used in these instances; particularly arresting beginnings and finales; and a dynamic deployment of punctuation. The prose poems become special linguistic performances as Rimbaud lays on a poetic "parade" for his readers.

    AB - This article explores the theatrical inspiration in Rimbaud's vision and expression. It argues that theatricality is intrinsic to Rimbaud's poetry and that it manifests itself in a host of ways throughout the canon. From characters to stage lighting, from musical and operatic elemnts to all types of performances, Rimbaud's work is replete with references to the stage world. A variety of critics have identified these elements but there has been no coherent, sustained analysis of the phenomenon. The article identifies the range of theatrical terminologuy in Rimbaud's work and then begins its detailed analysis by a consideration of Rimbaud's decors and mises en scène. From there we move to the function of colour and light which can be seen in 'Le Bateau ivre' and is such a feature of the Illuminations in poems like 'Métropolitain' and 'Aube'. Song and music also feature prominently and the piece examines Rimbaud's self -definition as an "opéra fabuleux". All of these elements at times fuse, especially in Rimbaud's poèmes-fête where he conjures up celebratory performances linked to epiphany as in 'Parade'. Rimbaud himself revels in a multiplicity of imaginative identities in his poetry and in the Illuminations he is the inventor, the child, the sage, the mystic, the musician tio name but a few of his preferred roles.This can be traced throughout his poetry as can his notion that the poem istelf becomes a performance. Again, it is in the Illuminations that this feature is most manifest through poems like 'Parade', 'Scènes' and 'Fairy'. We see poems as tales or prayers with irony and parody used in these instances; particularly arresting beginnings and finales; and a dynamic deployment of punctuation. The prose poems become special linguistic performances as Rimbaud lays on a poetic "parade" for his readers.

    KW - theatricality

    KW - decor

    KW - lighting

    KW - music

    KW - performance

    M3 - Article

    VL - XXIII

    SP - 131

    EP - 150

    JO - Forum for Modern Language Studies

    T2 - Forum for Modern Language Studies

    JF - Forum for Modern Language Studies

    SN - 0015-8518

    IS - 2

    ER -