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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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(Prognosis) Happy Bodies, Happy Hours: “Au Cabaret-vert, cinq heures du soir”

(Prognosis) Happy Bodies, Happy Hours: “Au Cabaret-vert, cinq heures du soir”

3 (Prognosis) Happy Bodies, Happy Hours: “Au Cabaret-vert, cinq heures du soir”
Poetry, Politics, and the Body in Rimbaud

Robert St. Clair

Oxford University Press

The question raised at the end of Chapter 2—“what would a world without the poor being left out in the cold look like?”—finds a response in the poem “Au Cabaret-vert, cinq heures du soir”: namely, such a world would look like the modest utopia of a working-class cabaret, a space of pleasure, idleness, and community in which the brutalizing rhythms and discipline of the working day are negated in and by a poetry of the everyday. (Particular attention will be paid here to the prosodic and metric structure of the alexandrine, and the importance of irregular forms such as the “libertine sonnet.”) Foregrounded in this chapter, finally, is the rhetorical, cultural, and political role that sites of working-class “indisciplinarity” such as bars and cabarets played in Second Empire political and literary discourse on class difference and democracy.

Keywords:   cabarets, class, idleness, utopian spaces, the everyday, versification and poetics

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