forward manner. And that resistance to simplicity is ultimately a good thing, as Shaw suggests (174-75) in regard to Glissant's discursive adaptation of Deleuze and Gauttari's rhizomatic model over a single-root, Chomskyan-type generative tree of signification. For, as she shows, Glissant's adaptation allows him to express perfectly the modern world's unrooted-ness and chaos. But, well before our own time, Shaw reminds us (121-22) that the failure of Ronsard's Franciade and Voltaire's Henriade derived from an analogous polyvalence, from being "at once too historical or political, and not enough"; and that Baudelaire's poetry, too (153-58), contains elements that often represent antithetical currents, rendering his work emblematic of what Shaw would have us (re)discover in every other poetic work: a bottomless semantic richness and complexity. With any book so ambitious, it is impossible not to feel slightly cheated when prosodic details discussed thoroughly in chapter one, for instance, cannot also be brought to bear on all the analyses performed further along. Doing so would obviously have created a much longer, albeit much narrower set of close readings. But what Professor Shaw has accomplished here is to give students more than enough poetic food for thought, and teachers tools to be
Nineteenth Century French Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 28, 2005
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