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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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Nelly Kaplan's Le Collier de ptyx

Nelly Kaplan's Le Collier de ptyx

Mallarmé as Political McGuffin

(p.337) Chapter Thirteen Nelly Kaplan's Le Collier de ptyx

Christophe Wall-Romana

Fordham University Press

This chapter provides a reading of another book that reprises the history of cinepoetry, all the way back to its pioneer: Stéphane Mallarmé. Published in 1971, The Ptyx Necklace is a literary treatment for a movie blending surrealism, magical realism and film noir, taking place in a made-up South American country ruled by a dictatorship. The imaginary film's McGuffin is a necklace made of a magical substance invented by Mallarmé and which appears as a tattoo on the skin of a young woman whom the dictators kidnap in order to confiscate it. Appealing equally to the history of French poetry (Maldoror and Mallarmé), the political repression in Kaplan's native Argentina and in Chili, visual tricks on the page, visual apparatuses in the narration, even an imaginary excerpt of a real film that André Breton admired, this book implements in writing the new theory of ‘polyvision’ in the cinema that Kaplan developed with her partner Abel Gance in the mid-1950s.

Keywords:   Nelly Kaplan, Abel Gance, André Breton, Stéphane Mallarmé, Ptyx, Polyvision, Cinérama

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