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Special Collection

Between borders: French-language poetry and the poetics of statelessness

Collection launched: 31 Oct 2019
This special collection offers an exploration of poetic engagements with statelessness in a selection of poetry in the French language in the period since 1900. Evoking a position abstracted from established categories of being, place and political selfhood, ‘statelessness’ speaks to the dramas of exile and migration as well as to the anxious positioning of poetry itself on the margins of prevailing discursive systems.

A number of the poets who are the focus of discussion in this collection (Guillaume Apollinaire, Chahan Chahnour/Armen Lubin, and Ghérasim Luca) were themselves stateless, and as some articles go to show, this suggests an underexploited frame of reference for understanding the evolution of avant-gardist poetry of the early twentieth-century. While some of the contributions contained here draw on this context, others are marked by more contemporary configurations of questions of belonging, migration and translinguality.

The featured articles range widely across national boundaries, notably moving between Armenian, French, German and Romanian literary traditions. Throughout the collection, the contributions explore the ways in which poetry evades instrumentalisation by dominant linguistic ideologies and discourses of nationality. Together they offer a compelling picture of the development of poetic practice in the modern and contemporary period.


Greg Kerr & Véronique Montémont: Introduction

Eric Robertson: No Mother Tongue? Translingual Poetry In and After Dada

Serge Martin: Avec Ghérasim Luca (1913-1994), extension du domaine des apatrides

David Evans: Rhythm Across Borders: Free Verse Between Cosmopolitanism and Statelessness in Valery Larbaud’s Les Poésies de A.O. Barnabooth

Anne-Sophie Bories: Sex, Wine and Statelessness. Apollinaire’s verse without borders in ‘Vendémiaire’

Charlène Clonts: Le funambule apatride ou la question du rythme chez Gherasim Luca

Krikor Beledian: L’Écriture comme réécriture chez Chahan Chahnour / Armen Lubin

Daisy Sainsbury: Language and statelessness in the Poetry of Olivier Cadiot

Geneviève Guetemme: Laurine Rousselet: la tentation de l’apatridie