Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Unfolding MallarméThe Development of a Poetic Art$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Roger Pearson

Print publication date: 1996

Print ISBN-13: 9780198159179

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198159179.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 November 2020

May ʼ68

May ʼ68

(p.141) 1 May ʼ68
Unfolding Mallarmé

Roger Pearson

Oxford University Press

Mallarmé underwent a crisis during (approximately) the two years which elapsed between his visit to Lefébure at Cannes (29 March–6 April 1866) and his letter to Lefébure of 3 May 1868 in which he first implies the existence of the ‘Sonnet en yx’. The nature of this crisis, which ‘rumbles on’ in the correspondence until 1871, has been much discussed, most often in religious and metaphysical terms. Did it principally involve a loss of religious faith? Did Mallarmé see himself caught up in some Hegelian dialectic of ‘l'Absolu’ and ‘le Néant’? Did he, in Cannes, undergo some mystical revelation whereby he came to see the ‘drame solaire’ as the cosmic projection at once of man's existential anguish and of his inner ‘divinité’? To see the crisis in these terms, however, is in part to be misled by Mallarmé's uncharacteristically pretentious language. For the crisis was unquestionably, above all, a ‘crise de vers’ — and a ‘crise’ brought on by the writing of the ‘Ouverture’ to ‘Herodiade’.

Keywords:   Mallarmé, Hérodiade, poetry, pretentious language, crisis

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .