Neophilologus

, Volume 91, Issue 1, pp 33–49

The Order of Mimesis in Saint-John Perse’s Vents

Article
  • 48 Downloads

Abstract

The claim by the 20th Century French poet Saint-John Perse that poetry is essentially a metaphysics invites readers and critics to reflect on the origins of both philosophy and poetry. In taking up this question, this paper focuses on the concept of mimesis from which the ancients derived, among other things, the principles of poetic and artistic production. By examining the way mimesis functions in Saint-John Perse’s Vents, it aims not only to establish the basis for understanding how the poet’s metaphysical claims are realised, but it also throws light on other aspects of his poetic vision, such as his view of cosmic unity, his explicit humanist mission and his much publicised double vocation in politics and poetry. Parallel to this, the paper briefly develops Plato’s, Aristotle’s and Girard’s treatment of mimesis and touches upon Merleau-Ponty’s, Bachelard’s and Nietzsche’s views on poetic expression.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Achard-Abell Marcelle (1966). Heidegger et la poésie de Saint-John Perse: un rapprochement. Revue de métaphysique et de morale 71:292–306Google Scholar
  2. Aquien Michèle (1985). Saint-John Perse: l’être et le nom. Editions du Champ Vallon, Seyssel FRGoogle Scholar
  3. Aristotle. Poetics. Translated by M. Heath. London: Penguin Books, 1996.Google Scholar
  4. Bachelard Gaston (1943) L’air et les songes: essai sur l’imagination du mouvement. Librairie José Corti, ParisGoogle Scholar
  5. Genette Gérard (1976) Mimologiques. Editions du Seuil, ParisGoogle Scholar
  6. Girard, René. Things Hidden since the Foundation of the World. Translated by S. Bann & M. Metteer. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  7. Heraclitus. Fragments. Translated by T. M. Robinson. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1987Google Scholar
  8. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of Perception. Translated by C. Smith. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962Google Scholar
  9. Merleau-Ponty, Signs. Translated by R. C. McCleary. Northwestern University Press, 1964Google Scholar
  10. Nasta Dan-Ion (1980). Saint-John Perse et la découverte de l’être. Presses Universitaires de France, ParisGoogle Scholar
  11. Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Gay Science. Translated by J. Nauckhoff. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
  12. Nietzsche, Friedrich. The Will to Power. Translated by W. Kaufman. New York: Random House, 1967.Google Scholar
  13. Plato. Laws. Translated by B. Jowett. Amherst NY: Prometheus Books, 2000.Google Scholar
  14. Plato. Cratylus. Translated by C. D. C. Reeve. Complete Works. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1997.Google Scholar
  15. Plato. The Republic. Translated by Desmond Lee. London: Penguin Books, 1955.Google Scholar
  16. Racine Daniel. (eds) (1987). Saint-John Perse I, La Revue des Lettres Modernes. Minard, ParisGoogle Scholar
  17. Saint-John Perse. œuvres Complètes. Paris: Gallimard, 1972.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of HumanitiesThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

Personalised recommendations