Wittgenstein in Recent French Poetics: Henri Meschonnic and Jacques Roubaud

Paragraph 34 (3):423-440 (2011)

Maria Muresan
École Normale Supérieure
Two recent French poets, Henri Meschonnic and Jacques Roubaud, have found in Wittgenstein's philosophy an alternative to post-structuralist poetics. Meschonnic's poetry and his theoretical writings show a sustained critical engagement with Wittgenstein, whom he reads in conjunction with Emile Benveniste. The writers inform his theory of poetic rhythm and his practice of biblical translation. Roubaud's use of Wittgenstein, by contrast, here examined in the collection Quelque chose noir, is linked partly with the poet's grief following the death of his wife Alix Cléo Roubaud, a photographer and an avid reader of Wittgenstein. In Roubaud, Wittgenstein opens up the space for a meditation on disappearance and absence. Roubaud reformulates passages from Wittgenstein's On Certainty in poems evoking Alix's memory.
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DOI 10.3366/para.2011.0034
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