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CinepoetryImaginary Cinemas in French Poetry$
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Christophe Wall-Romana

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823245482

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823245482.001.0001

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Cinema as Imaginary Medium in French Poetry

Cinema as Imaginary Medium in French Poetry

(p.1) Introduction Cinema as Imaginary Medium in French Poetry

Christophe Wall-Romana

Fordham University Press

The introduction explains cinema's esthetic and sensorial appeal for French poets since Mallarmé, and defines cinepoetry (cinema-in-writing) as a corpus, despite its porous boundaries. After analyzing examples of cross-medium writing, the Introduction tackles the pre avant-garde works of Edmond Rostand and Jules Romains who sought in 1908 to integrate cinema in their poetry—before Futurism. Cinepoetry as ancillary text (imaginary film) and virtual film (still only text) then developed in concert with the poetics of L’Esprit Nouveau, Dada and Surrealism. Heralding cinepoetry was a major shift from the Romantic imagination to the ‘imaginary’, a rare word until it was used by Villiers de L’Isle-Adam to describe the cyborg's filmic realm in The Eve of the Future. The Introduction shows that the imaginary became a philosophical notion for Sartre, Bachelard and Lacan only when defined against cinema: Morin corrected this bias in 1956 by acknowledging cinema as the core of the imaginary. A final section revises the theory of text and images via the ‘cine-graphic field’ which put in motion texts and letters in the 1900-20 era, in movies (Cohl, Lumière bros., Perret, Feuillade), in writing (Proust, Roussel, Reverdy, Apollinaire), and especially through intertitle art (Gance, L’Herbier, Epstein, Dulac).

Keywords:   Imaginary, Cine-graphic field, Text and images, Scenario, Jean-Paul Sartre, Edgar Morin, Nathalie Quintane, Jules Romains, Guillaume Apollinaire, Charles Baudelaire

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