Author(s): Gayle Zachmann
Countering the conventional image of the deliberately obscure "ivory-tower poet," Frameworks for Mallarme presents Stephane Mallarme as a journalist and critic who was actively engaged with the sociocultural and technological shifts of his era. Gayle Zachmann introduces a writer whose aesthetic was profoundly shaped by contemporary innovations in print and visual culture, especially the nascent art of photography. She analyzes the preeminence of the visual in conjunction with Mallarme’s quest for "scientific" language, and convincingly links the poet’s production to a nineteenth-century understanding of cognition that is articulated in terms of optical perception. The result is a distinctly modern recuperation of the Horatian doctrine of ut pictura poesis in Mallarme’s poetry and his circumstantial writings.
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