The extreme in-between: Jean Paulhan's place in the twentieth century
Legenda, 2006 - 163 pagine
Frequently referred to as the eminence grise of French literature in the interwar years, Jean Paulhan (1884-1968) was not just the editor responsible for giving writers as varied as Francis Ponge and Jean-Paul Sartre their first start in the pages of the renowned Nouvelle Revue Franaise. He also produced a substantial body of work of astonishing eclecticism. From dense, quasi-scientific texts on poetic language, where his critical expertise in contemporary linguistics and psychology is abundantly apparent, to enigmatic recits, which often seem closer to prose poems than anything else, he explored and exploited a vast range of discourses and artistic practices, from the Marquis de Sade's early works to Picasso's still lifes. Yet all his explorations were governed by a primary and unflinching concern to understand what literature owes society. In a series of tightly orchestrated readings, Anna-Louise Milne brings to light the space he sought to carve out, between the art for arts sake ethos and the subordination of art to political ends.