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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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Mallarmé Unfolds the Cinématographe

Mallarmé Unfolds the Cinématographe

(p.54) (p.55) Chapter One Mallarmé Unfolds the Cinématographe

Christophe Wall-Romana

Fordham University Press

Stéphane Mallarmé was the first poet to understand the pragmatic and theoretical ramifications of the emergence of cinema for writing, literature and poetry. Likely influenced by shorts of the Lumière brothers, he undertook to translate the new mobility of the screen into his visual poem, A Throw of the Dice, and his last opus known as Le Livre. This chapter demonstrates that the preface of a Throw of the Dice was written form the same textual matrix as Mallarmé's comments on cinema. It documents the multiple connexions between the poet and the budding world of cinema via Paul Nadar, Octave Uzanne, Jules Huret and Villiers de L’Isle-Adam. The term ‘unfolding’ is at the heart of Mallarmé's sense of automorphosis applied to text, and it is compared to its contemporary uses by Henri Bergson, Étienne-Jules Marey, and Loïe Fuller. Cinepoetic aspects in the work of two close disciples, Paul Valéry and André Gide, are briefly analyzed.

Keywords:   Stéphane Mallarmé, The Lumière Brothers, The Cinématographe, Octave Uzanne, Henri Bergson, Étienne-Jules Marey, Symbolism, Villiers de L’isle-Adam, A Throw of the Dice, Le Livre

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