Strands of Utopia
Spaces of Poetic Work in Twentieth-Century France

Michael G. Kelly

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

3 October 2008  •  280pp

ISBN: 978-1-905981-14-4 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-351195-15-7 (Taylor & Francis ebook)

FrenchPoetry


The poetic is an abiding yet elusive qualification within the discursive system of twentieth-century French literature. No longer amenable to formal assignment, its recurrences delimit a shifting, multi-layered practice of artistic and intellectual (self-) invention. This study attempts to outline certain durable properties of that practice by confronting it with the complex theoretical and spatial metaphor of utopia. Drawing, in particular, upon the oeuvres of Victor Segalen (1878-1919), René Daumal (1908-44) and Yves Bonnefoy (b. 1923), it traces poetic work - work done in support of poetic difference - along the social, physical and textual axes of what is argued to be a sustained and radically inclusive utopian practice within the literary field. In so doing, it encourages revised understandings of both the poetic and the utopian in the modern French literary context.

Michael G. Kelly teaches French and Comparative Literature at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Reviews:

  • ‘In all, Michael Kelly’s study encourages revised understandings of both the poetic and the utopian in the modern French literary context... A well-informed and instructive survey of both utopia and poetry. All this makes Strands of Utopia: Spaces of Poetic Work in Twentieth-Century France an invaluable source.’ — Teresa Louro, Utopian Studies 21.2, 2010, 357-60
  • ‘A very careful, reflective, and thought-provoking study, and it more than amply rewards the exertions required of its readers.’ — Margaret Miner, French Studies 64.4, 2010, 513-14
  • ‘L'ouvrage de Michael G. Kelly, prolongé par une importante et très utile bibliographie, ouvre donc des voies passionnantes pour explorer la poésie dans la dynamique de sa fabrication au XXe siècle.’ — Michel Blay, Kritikon Litterarum 37, 2010, 168-69
  • ‘Offers a thorough and convincing argument for the need to read twentieth-century French poetry from the perspective of utopia... An important resource that should open up new means of addressing the ever-changing "'idea' of poetry".’ — James Petterson, French Review 37, 2010, 156-57

Bibliography entry:

Kelly, Michael G., Strands of Utopia: Spaces of Poetic Work in Twentieth-Century France (Cambridge: Legenda, 2008)

First footnote reference: 35 Michael G. Kelly, Strands of Utopia: Spaces of Poetic Work in Twentieth-Century France (Cambridge: Legenda, 2008), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Kelly, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Kelly, Michael G.. 2008. Strands of Utopia: Spaces of Poetic Work in Twentieth-Century France (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Kelly 2008: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Kelly 2008: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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