Naming and Not Naming: Tennyson and Mallarmé MARY ANN CAWS AND GERHARD JOSEPH "IN THE NAME OF THE AUTHOR" PUTS IT IN THE FINAL commentary on a recent group of articles on anonymity, "The question What matters who's speaking? cannot of course be answered by the author himself (as Barthes reminds us), nor by the writer's own contemporaries (as Foucault reminds us), nor by literary theory (as we ought to remind ourselves). Questions of meaning and value can be answered only provisionally, each time a text is read by close readers like you and me." "Still," he maintains, "when we read a text that really matters, it will matter who's speaking."1 We think so too. In our case, who is speaking an English poem and the name behind it and who is translating them into another language, French. "Lord[s] of the senses five" ("The Palace of Art," l. 180), but especially the sense of sound, Alfred Tennyson early in life pondered the mystery of his name's sound, and Stéphane Mallarmé, the elliptical suggestor, found the epitome of the admired English poet's meaning in the reverberation of that sound through posterity. We thus explore, at the center of Symbolist
Victorian Poetry – West Virginia University Press
Published: Jan 6, 2005
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