Whidden, Seth. Leaving Parnassus: The Lyric Subject in Verlaine and Rimbaud. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007. Pp. 230. isbn 978-90-420-2210-2. Adrianna M. Paliyenko, Colby College Seth Whidden, who has recently produced excellent modern editions of Marie Krysinska's Rythmes pittoresques (Exeter up, 2003) and Wallace Fowlie's translation of Rimbaud's complete works (u of Chicago p, 2005), makes a valuable contribution to modern nineteenth-century poetry studies with his new book on the crisis of the lyric subject in Verlaine and Rimbaud. The Parnassian movement, taken as the historical point of departure for the study and as the core point of æsthetic reference for Verlaine and Rimbaud's respective poetic projects, provides a fresh critical framework for an illuminating analysis of each poet's subversion of a unified creative voice. This study, which eschews biographically inflected interpretation to focus on discursive practice, charts pivotal departures from Parnassian poetry in Verlaine and Rimbaud as crystallizing, æsthetic turns in their modern conceptions of poetic subjectivity. Introductory comments sketch out salient features of semiotic approaches to poetic language à la Kristeva et Meschonnic that, together with recent "genetic criticism" focused on textual stages of a creative work, inform the emphasis in this study on the organic construction of
Nineteenth Century French Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Apr 25, 2008
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