Aesthetic Worlds: Rimbaud, Williams and Baroque Form

  • William D. Melaney
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume 69)


The sense of form that provides the modern poet with a unique experience of the literary object has been crucial to various attempts to compare poetry to other cultural activities. In maintaining similar conceptions of the relationship between poetry and painting, Arthur Rimbaud and W. C. Williams establish a common basis for interpreting their creative work. And yet their poetry is more crucially concerned with the sudden emergence of visible “worlds” containing verbal objects that integrate a new kind of literary text. In this paper, I shall discuss the emergence of three related aesthetic worlds: first, Rimbaud’s Illuminations provides the “mythic” occasion for the eruption of post-Symbolist literature; second, Williams’ Spring and All develops Rimbaud’s poetics in terms of twentieth-century modernism; finally, the conception of Baroque form as explored in recent aesthetics unites Rimbaud and Williams in the shared task of overcoming Cartesian dualism.


Literary Text Literary Imagination Cartesian Dualism Phenomenological Philosophy Sudden Emergence 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • William D. Melaney
    • 1
  1. 1.The American University in CairoUSA

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