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Poetry, Politics, and the Body in RimbaudLyrical Material$
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Robert St. Clair

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826583

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826583.001.0001

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(Departures) Natural Bodies

(Departures) Natural Bodies

(Eco)Poetics and the Politics of the Aesthetic: “Sensation”

Chapter:
1 (Departures) Natural Bodies
Source:
Poetry, Politics, and the Body in Rimbaud
Author(s):

Robert St. Clair

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198826583.003.0002

Paying close attention to figures of flight and departure in several early poems, and in particular to “Sensation,” a short poem written in 1870, Chapter 1 re-assesses Rimbaud’s relation to Théodore de Banville and, more generally, the importance of Parnassian poetry at the end of the Second Empire. It shows how “Sensation” stages a reflection on the body and its senses (or aesthetic sensuality), on poetry and nature, that offers us a glimpse into the complex historical and poetic moment in which Rimbaud composed the poem and addressed it to Banville, exploring both Rimbaud’s relation to the politics of aestheticism and a corporeal ecopoetics in the early Rimbaud—a poetics that sees the body as fundamentally involved in the natural world as a kind of inner difference, the presence of something “naturally unnatural” the ultimate figure of which may be poetry itself.

Keywords:   Théodore de Banville, ecopoetics, nature and the unnatural, species-being, utopia, Parnassus, politics of aestheticism and disengagement

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