Present Eternity: Quests of Temporality in the Literary Production of the «Extrême Contemporain» in France (The Writings of Dominique Fourcade and Emmanuel Hocquard)
The term « extrême contemporain » is an expression currently used by scholars to indicate the French literary production of the last 20 years. This term was used in a work of literature for the first time by the French poet Dominique Fourcade in 1986 (Élégie L apostrophe E.C.) in reference to an epoch, but also to a new sense of experiencing time and space in the so-called « age of digital reproducibility ». The aim of this paper is to consider how the change in temporal protocols due to the triumph of Big Optics (Paul Virilio) affects the sense of teleology (destiny) and the quest for experience in French contemporary poetry (in particular, in the genre of the elegy). Including both memory and anticipation, the « extrême contemporain » production seems to prefer the “time of now”, Jetzt-zeit in Benjamin’s words, to past or testimony, and speaks to the present, whose responsibility is to give voice to a space where everything is simply allowed to happen.