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Michel Butor’s “Improvisations sur Rimbaud”: interpretation of the poet’s works and language

O.A. Vasileva
80,00 Р

UDC 821.133.1


Vasileva Olga A.,

Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor

of the Romanо-Germanic Languages Department

Russian Academy of Foreign Trade



This article discusses one relatively unknown aspect of the French writer and philosopher, Michel Butor’s works — his literary criticism through the example of “Improvisations sur Rimbaud”. Poet’s works are investigated by Butor unattainable apart from the stages of his life, and the most significant poems — in the context of the epistolary heritage of Rimbaud. Most attention is paid to the chapter “Improvisations”, dedicated to the collection of Rimbaud’s “Illuminations”: to the development of the theme of the city and its transformation, the role of structural rhyme and reprise at the beginning of the line overturning the classical system of versification, the appearance in the texts of Rimbaud mathematical structure. The new poetic language, the innovative artistic techniques of the poet , which are used in the composition of a number of texts in the collection, comprehensively explored by Butor, had an undeniable influence on the direction of the research for new literary forms in the works of Butor: his novel “Degrès”, which uses the numerical structure as a method of total description of reality as well as a number of texts written in the genre of experimental prose in which fragmentation is elevated to an aesthetic principle, the idea of synthesizing the arts is implemented and endless intertextual interactions are created.

Keywords: work, poet, improvisation, illumination, poem, text, city, literary form, genre, language.


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