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Mallarme and the Politics of LiteratureSartre, Kristeva, Badiou, Rancière$
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Robert Boncardo

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474429528

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474429528.001.0001

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Jacques Rancière’s Mallarmé: Deferring Equality

Jacques Rancière’s Mallarmé: Deferring Equality

(p.191) 5 Jacques Rancière’s Mallarmé: Deferring Equality
Mallarme and the Politics of Literature

Robert Boncardo

Edinburgh University Press

This fifth chapter presents Jacques Rancière’s reading of Mallarmé through a critical exegesis of his 1996 book Mallarmé: The Politics of the Siren. By exploring Rancière’s studied opposition to the critical tradition that has framed Mallarmé as a hermetic recluse concerned exclusively with literature’s relation to itself, this chapter shows how Rancière presents Mallarmé as a thinker deeply engaged with the political crises of his times and committed to equality. The chapter explains how Rancière reformulates Mallarmé’s proposal for a poetic religion in terms of his famous account of the aesthetic regime of art, and closes with the argument that Rancière ultimately considers Mallarmé a conservative figure whose poetic utopia is infinitely deferred.

Keywords:   Stéphane Mallarmé, Poetry, Literature, Politics, Jacques Rancière

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