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'Rimbaud's 'Trois contes''

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Macklin, Gerald (1987) 'Rimbaud's 'Trois contes''. FRENCH STUDIES BULLETIN, 23 . pp. 10-12. [Journal article]

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Abstract

This paper examines three poems from Rimbaud's Illuminations - 'Conte', 'Royauté' and 'Aube' - in terms of how the poet uses the tale as the basis for some of his prose poems. The article considers how these poems comply with the conventions of the tale as a genre and how they deviate from it. The poems present figures from myth and legend, elements of the structure of the traditional fairy-tale and an ironical attitude to the "happy ending". Often, Rimbaud sets up an appraently conventional narrative only to disrupt or truncate his story and he also use his three poem-tales to state or suggest certain philosophical messages about life, love, knowledge. In 'Conte' we find a disruption of the linear narrative and experimentation with endings. In 'Royauté' we see an intensive and brief tale and a deflation of euphoria. Finally in 'Aube' there is a brief moment of trascendence followed by the tragic fall. These poems seem to follow a pattern of introduction, climax and anti-climax and eventually Rimbaud seems to withdraw from the "conte" model that the poems initially seem to espouse. The three texts are thus ironic, ludic and experimental in how they use the genre of the tale on which they are clearly modelled.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:prose poem; tale; fairy-tale; irony
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Arts
Faculty of Arts > School of Modern Languages
Research Institutes and Groups:Arts and Humanities Research Institute
Arts and Humanities Research Institute > European Languages and Studies
ID Code:19282
Deposited By:Dr Gerald Macklin
Deposited On:30 Aug 2011 19:40
Last Modified:30 Aug 2011 19:40

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