Exploring lyrical circulation: Reading and translating Jean-Michel Maulpoix and "Une histoire de bleu"

Date of Completion

January 2002


Literature, Romance




Movement; development by expansion and connection; a critical eye towards language, its capacities and especially its limitations; a tendency to veer off towards prose; the precariousness of the poetic subject; the links between the subject, the other and the world; the primary role of the voice; along with a degree of sobriety which distinguishes “new” lyricism from the exaltation of “traditional” lyricism: according to Jean-Michel Maulpoix, these are the identifying components of new lyric poetry. In this dissertation, I focus above all on the elements of motion and development through expansion and connection—in other words, circulation—in Maulpoix's creative and critical production, ultimately expanding the circulation of Une histoire de bleu, through translation into English. ^ Circulation is shown to be a particularly compelling element of this poetry due to the way it allows real and poetic communication between poet and reader, between Maulpoix and other poets of his and previous generations, and among his own texts. Within the scope of current poetic writing in French, this study examines the new lyric style in contrast with a more textual, literal style. I argue that new lyricism represents an open, unbordered space where the poet wanders and explores, and creating possibility of real or poetic communication between himself and readers, between ideas and between texts. I inscribe my translation of Une histoire de bleu within this concept, as it is the next logical step for lyric circulation as it increases the dynamic movement and exchange by bringing the collection to an anglophone audience, thereby causing the circle of its influence to increase, and allowing for additional communication between the collection and a new readership. ^