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Unfolding MallarméThe Development of a Poetic Art$
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Roger Pearson

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159179.001.0001

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(p.83) 4 ‘Couples’
Unfolding Mallarmé

Roger Pearson

Oxford University Press

When Mallarmé began writing ‘Hérodiade’ during the winter of 1864–5, he saw himself as putting his new poetic theory into practice: and the celebrated terms in which he describes this suggest that he was seeking to replace a Parnassian focus on objects with Poe's concern for ‘effect’. Like ‘Don du poéme’ and ‘Sainte’ written in 1865, ‘Hérodiade’ is — in its various versions — a poem about itself. But it is important to note that the ‘poetic theory’ underlying the text evolved significantly between its first manifestation (‘Scène’) and its second (‘Ouverture’). Briefly put, the former depends predominantly on narrative and image, the latter on the ‘voice’ of language.

Keywords:   Mallarmé, Hérodiade, poetic theory, poetry, language, narrative, image

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