By Rosemarie Waldrop, Rosmarie Waldrop

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Additional info for Against Language: Dissatisfaction With Language: as Theme and as Impulse Towards Experiments in Twentieth Century Poetry

Sample text

One way in which combination assumes importance is by becoming playful and variable (this can be achieved by methods as simple as omitting punctuation or, in German, the capitals of nouns). First an example that stands between the two groups, attracting attention to the arrangement as well as enriching the overtones of a single word: the first stanza of Apollinaire's "Le Pont Mirabeau": Sous le pont Mirabeau coule la Seine Et nos amours Faut-il qu'il m'en souvienne La joie venait toujours après la p e i n e 4 2 Grammatically, there is no doubt about the arrangement of the lines.

Or is torche possibly a bunch of straw - all the "prodigal" has left after the fire? Is the "cloud" a cloud of smoke, a real cloud, a cloud of worries, doubt, suspicion, a cloud of vague dreams? Why is the cloud which seems to lead away from the double enclosure of enclos en quarantaine nevertheless a "cloud of caverns"? Nothing of all this is ruled out as would happen in an explicit context. It is true, we come away with a sense of a definite opposition between the artificial restrictions of the quarantined enclosure which is burnt and the cloud.

And the Innigkeit which things gain in this process seems an intensity they assume by increasing their formality. The word removes them much more from the flux than their 'surfaces' do. But at the same time this intensity cannot be achieved by applying the conventional names and labels. Therefore the art of the word has to be the kind of elastic form which Hofmannsthal's Zurückgekehrter could see in visual art, but not in language. It has to stabilize and give form, therefore it is an activity 'under crusts' but the crusts have to 'burst willingly' when the activity goes beyond them and demands different limitations: Tun unter Krusten, die willig zerspringen, sobald innen das Handeln entwächst und sich anders begrenzt.

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Against Language: Dissatisfaction With Language: as Theme and as Impulse Towards Experiments in Twentieth Century Poetry by Rosemarie Waldrop, Rosmarie Waldrop


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