Poetry and Radical Politics in fin de siecle France: From Anarchism to Action francaise by Patrick McguinnessPoetry and Radical Politics in fin de siecle France: From Anarchism to Action francaise by Patrick Mcguinness

Poetry and Radical Politics in fin de siecle France: From Anarchism to Action francaise

byPatrick Mcguinness

Hardcover | May 27, 2015

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Poetry and Radical Politics in fin de siecle France explores the relations between poetry and politics in France in the last decade of the 19th century. The period covers perhaps the most important developments in modern French poetry: from the post-Commune climate that spawned the "decadent"movement, through to the (allegedly) ivory-towered aestheticism of Mallarme and the Symbolists. In terms of French politics, history and culture, the period was no less dramatic with the legacy of the Commune, the political and financial instability that followed, the anarchist campaigns, theDreyfus affair, and the growth of "Action francaise". Patrick McGuinness argues that the anarchist politics of many Symbolist poets is a reaction to their own isolation, and to poetry's anxious relations with the public: too "difficult" to be widely read, Symbolist poets react to the loss of poetry's centrality among the arts by delegating theirradicalism to prose: they can call, in prose, for the overthrow of the state and support anarchist bombers, while at the same time writing poems about dribbling fountains and dazzling sunsets for each other. This study demonstrates the connections between the anti-Symbolist reaction of the ecole romane of 1891 (in which Charles Maurras first made his name), and the far-right cultural politics of Action francaise in the early 20th century. It also redefines many of the debates about late 19th-centuryFrench poetry by putting an argument forward for the political engagement(s) of the Symbolists while the French "intellectuel" as a national icon was being forged. McGuinness insists on profound continuities between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th in terms of culturalpolitics, literary debate, and poetic theory, and shows how politics is to be found in unexpected ways in the least political-seeming literature of the period.The famous line by Peguy, that everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics, has an appealing sweep and grace. This book has its own more modest and specific version of a similar journey: it begins in Mallarme and ends in Maurras.
Patrick McGuinness is the author or editor of several academic books, including Maurice Maeterlinck and the Making of Modern Theatre (OUP, 2000), Symbolism, Decadence and the fin de siecle (Exeter UP 2001), T. E. Hulme, Selected Writings (Carcanet, 1998). He is also the author of two books of poems (The Canals of Mars, 2004, and Jilted...
Title:Poetry and Radical Politics in fin de siecle France: From Anarchism to Action francaiseFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pagesPublished:May 27, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198706103

ISBN - 13:9780198706106

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Poetry and Radical Politics in the fin-de-siecle1. The language of Politics in Symbolist and Decadent Polemic2. Symbolism and Literary Anarchism3. Symbolists and Anarchists4. The Ecole romane: an arriere-garde within the avant-garde5. Reactionary Poetics: Maurras and the ecole romaneAfterword