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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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The Poem-Scenario in the Interwar (1917–1928)

The Poem-Scenario in the Interwar (1917–1928)

(p.176) (p.177) Chapter Seven The Poem-Scenario in the Interwar (1917–1928)

Christophe Wall-Romana

Fordham University Press

This chapter makes a case study of a central subgenre in cinepoetry: the poem-scenario. Beginning in 1917, with a work by Apollinaire and Billy, up to the arrival of the Talkies, a number of poets wrote in this hybrid genre. The poem-scenario can be defined as a short treatment in run-in lines or short verse-like paragraphs describing a film in a way that ‘enacts’ the film rather than describing more technically its actual shooting. Poem-scenarios by Cendrars, Canudo, Hillel-Erlanger, Desnos, Romains, Rolland and Artaud are closely read, together with some of the art accompanying them (by Léger, Van Dongen, and Mazereel). Among the central themes of these poem-scenarios are: war trauma, duplication, a film-within-the film, temporal prolepsis, affect and madness. In the words of Benjamin Fondane, poets were most fascinated by the poem-scenario's paradoxical imaginary as “unshootable.”

Keywords:   Blaise Cendrars, Ricciotto Canudo, Irène Hillel-Erlanger, Robert Desnos, Jules Romains, Romain Rolland, Antonin Artaud, Reversibility, Temporality, Trauma

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