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Colorsteps in Modern and Contemporary French Poetry

Colorsteps in Modern and Contemporary French Poetry Susan Harrow Color fills an important space of coincidence and of difference between verbal and visual media, yet receives strikingly little attention in discussions of poetry (or, indeed, in studies of literature more generally). Bound by the monochrome world of the printed word, literary researchers appear prismatically indifferent, judging color as a referent somehow not proper to their domain, viewing color as improper even.1 When color engages us directly as readers and critics, we often deem it inconsequential or incidental; color is perceived as decorative, supplementary, and secondary; synonymous with and reducible to "local color". And a line is thus drawn--a black line. Unlike our co-workers in film, history of art, textile studies or musicology, literary researchers are remote from those perceptual and pleasurable pressure points that may be acoustic, tactile or visual, and which, in this instance, are prismatic.2 Color practice is a blind spot in contemporary critical readings of French poetry and poetic writing, a paradoxical situation given critics' attentiveness to the interart and intermedial significance--manifest and latent--of French modern poetic practice.3 The obscuring of color is anomalous, too, given our concern to bring into dialogue concepts and tropes drawn from cognate research disciplines as part http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png French Forum University of Nebraska Press

Colorsteps in Modern and Contemporary French Poetry

French Forum , Volume 37 (1) – Oct 24, 2012

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 French Forum, Inc.
ISSN
1534-1836
Publisher site
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Abstract

Susan Harrow Color fills an important space of coincidence and of difference between verbal and visual media, yet receives strikingly little attention in discussions of poetry (or, indeed, in studies of literature more generally). Bound by the monochrome world of the printed word, literary researchers appear prismatically indifferent, judging color as a referent somehow not proper to their domain, viewing color as improper even.1 When color engages us directly as readers and critics, we often deem it inconsequential or incidental; color is perceived as decorative, supplementary, and secondary; synonymous with and reducible to "local color". And a line is thus drawn--a black line. Unlike our co-workers in film, history of art, textile studies or musicology, literary researchers are remote from those perceptual and pleasurable pressure points that may be acoustic, tactile or visual, and which, in this instance, are prismatic.2 Color practice is a blind spot in contemporary critical readings of French poetry and poetic writing, a paradoxical situation given critics' attentiveness to the interart and intermedial significance--manifest and latent--of French modern poetic practice.3 The obscuring of color is anomalous, too, given our concern to bring into dialogue concepts and tropes drawn from cognate research disciplines as part

Journal

French ForumUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Oct 24, 2012

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