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The sonnet in France from Baudelaire to Valéry

Killick, Rachel (1976) The sonnet in France from Baudelaire to Valéry. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the extensive revival of the sonnet in French nineteenth century poetry and explores its various roles, analytical, "musical," descriptive, and formalistic, in the works of eleven major authors. Surprisingly, use of the genre in this period has attracted little detailed critical attention. The few general studies concentrate on the orthodoxy or otherwise of the sonnet rhyme-scheme but do not relate this to content and expression. Criticism of individual authors, however, is primarily concerned with themes, imagery or biography. Versification figures only marginally and is rarely considered in conjunction with patterns of argument, metaphor, rhythm and sound within the individual poems. This thesis aims to some extent to fill this gap where the sonnet is concerned. It shows how "regularity" or "irregularity" of rhyme-scheme in themselves are poor indicators of the coherence of a sonnet and how poetic quality in the genre depends rather on how successfully the writer has matched thematic and formal structures. The choice and handling of the sonnet by the various authors naturally reflects general preoccupations of the time: the new interest in lyric poetry, the association of poetry and music on the one hand, poetry and plastic art on the other, the move towards an aesthetic of the short poem, the influence of Poe, the emphasis on forrnal technique. This study endeavours to set the contributions of the different authors against the background of these trends but concentrates on analysing the role of the sonnet within the work of the individual poets.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > French (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.591081
Depositing User: Ethos Import
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2015 11:21
Last Modified: 22 Sep 2015 11:21
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6770

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