Tricolor Flag image This is JACKET # 14 - July 2001   |   # 14  CONTENTS   |   HOMEPAGE   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with SALT magazine



Judith Bishop

on Yves Bonnefoy


‘A way among the words’: intimacy, desire and communication in the poetics and poetry of Yves Bonnefoy

Une façon de dire, qui ferait
Qu’on ne serait plus seul dans le langage.


A way among the words, that would be
The end of our solitude in language.[See note [i]]


This piece is 4,000 words or about ten printed pages long.

OF THE GENERATION of poets who began to write in the France and Belgium of the 1950s, Yves Bonnefoy, then in his thirties, is now perhaps the most widely celebrated. His early poetry exhibits a flair and savagery of image which earned him the approbation of the Surrealists, with whom he associated for a time; but thread for thread, the violence and eroticism of this poetry was matched by the philosophical questions he made his own from very early in his career. His first book-length publication, Du mouvement et de l’immobilité de Douve (1953), recently translated in the Bloodaxe Contemporary French Poets series as On the motion and immobility of Douve (1992) by Galway Kinnell, begins abruptly with the image of a lover ambiguously fleeing from death and running exultant through the country of her death:

Je te voyais courir sur des terrasses,
Je te voyais lutter contre le vent,
Le froid saignait sur tes lèvres.

Et je t’ai vue rompre et jouir d’être morte ô plus belle
Que la foudre, quand elle tache les vitres blanches de ton sang.

I saw you running on the terraces,
I saw you fight against the wind,
The coldness bled on your lips.

And I have seen you break and rejoice at being dead – O more beautiful
Than the lightning, when it stains the white windowpanes of your blood.

The linguistic closure of the poetic image in relation to the real and its abolition of being as presence are perennial concerns of the poet. In a lecture titled ‘Sur la fonction du poème’ (On the function of the poem)[See note [ii]], Bonnefoy explored the question which underlies this first and subsequent books of poetry and his numerous critical works: the possibility of maintaining in poetic language an openness toward presence. The work of poetry is to cultivate that openness through what he has elsewhere referred to as its ‘work on desire’. Ideally, poetry would work to unravel the desires of reader and writer alike for the realization and recognition of their own subjectivities in language, in order to allow what is conceived of as a simpler, or, in Bonnefoy’s terms, second desire to emerge. The ‘second desire’ attaches the subject to others in a relationship of ‘communication’. For Bonnefoy, communication is the site of our intimate and mutual recognition of the relation of human existence, the existence of each of us, to death and the loss of presence.

Photo of Yves Bonnefoy






Yves Bonnefoy

photo: William H. Tague


After gesture, verbal language is the means by which we formulate demands and requests to others for the fulfilment of our needs and desires. It is indispensible in the establishment of intimate relations with the other.

However, language is also the medium of a wider sociality, and with it, participation in conventions, linguistic and cultural, which inevitably pattern intimate relations. In postwar France, a range of thinkers sought to give a third, ontological inflection to the notion of intimacy. Among them were Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot, whom Joseph Libertson referred to, together with Emmanual Levinas, as the ‘philosophers of proximity’[See note [iii]]. In his (1991) monograph dedicated to the Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti[See note [iv]], Bonnefoy acknowledged the profound influence of a journal directed by Bataille, Documents, in establishing the direction of postwar critical concerns in France. In the Bibliothèque Nationale survey of ‘Quelques livres qui ont compté’ (Books which have mattered), he describes Le Coupable (The guilty one) and L’Expérience intérieure  (Inner experience) as works which provoked in one the feeling that they ‘were speaking of the essential’[See note [v]]. Maurice Blanchot, for his part, addressed two articles, ‘Le grand refus’ (The great refusal) and ‘Comment découvrir l’obscur?’ (How to discover what is in darkness?)[See note [vi]]to the question of poetic mission raised in Bonnefoy’s book of essays, L’improbable (The Improbable), when it first appeared in 1959.[See note [vii]]The title of this book spoke directly to a stream of thought on possibility and impossibility which had currency in the contemporary philosophies of being and language. That the presence of natural things might manifest itself in language was not impossible, Bonnefoy implied, but simply improbable . The improbable in this context served to index the poet’s desire for the (apparently) impossible. Extending the connection between himself as poet-philosopher and the philosopher of poetry, Bonnefoy wrote in an English-language article of Blanchot as a reader alert to poetic meaning not as a web of semantic associations, but rather, as subtle traces of ‘something which tends to break down any kind of structure, because it is man’s relation to nothingness and death.’[See note [viii]]

Even more than in his critical writings, a concern for an intimacy at once sensual, sexual, and – as if crossing a seamless border – ontological, appears in the early poetry of Bonnefoy, most notably in the long sequence of poems that constitutes Du mouvement et de l’immobilité de Douve. The sensual experience of the reader in relation to a text dealing with intimacy and desire as ontological concerns is as fundamental as the writer’s. It was Blanchot who brought to light most vividly the triangular intimacy of reader, writer and text in L’espace littéraire , first published by Éditions Gallimard in 1955.[See note [ix]]Writing’s indifference to the presence of reader and writer constitutes the possibility of an intimacy between the latter, in the reader’s recognition and indeed, affirmation of the necessary effacement of the writer’s unique presence within language:[See note [x]]

The work is itself communication. It is intimacy shared in struggle by reading’s demand and writing’s: by the work as form and measure, constituting itself as power, and the same work’s measureless excess, tending toward impossibility.

Blanchot wrote that ‘impossibility is being itself’. Possibility is the movement of assimilation by which the subject creates its reality by negating the separate being of what is assimilated, and by creating its reality provides itself with the means for further assimilations. These future assimilations are its possibilities. In such a context, ‘desire is precisely this relation to impossibility’[See note [xi]].  Nothing can be made of being as presence: it cannot be used for anything, nor consumed; though it is desired, it cannot satisfy desire. It is above all the notion of a desire that would affirm the impossibility of satisfaction with the projections of subjectivity in writing, and the loss of presence in the labyrinth of images, that informs the poetics of Bonnefoy.


Presence and communication

‘When I expressed the principle of losing one’s grip (glissement ) – as the presiding law of communication –’ writes Bataille, ‘I believed I had got to the bottom of the matter’[See note [xii]]. There is a certain common understanding in the work of Bataille and Bonnefoy regarding this philosophical notion of communication, which has little in common with the everyday notion of the transference of a message. A word such as ‘empathy’ might perhaps render it more closely; or the image of the joined chemical vessels the French call ‘les vases communicants’, in which the fluctuations of pressure in one vessel are always balanced by a change of fluid level in the other.

Glissement , the movement by which subjects enter together the space of angoisse (anguish), reveals a desire to shed the accumulated patterns of knowledge through or within which each subject sees and acts, in a certain sense, alone. The same movement of glissement animates the subject’s reflexive awareness of the stability that is thereby placed at risk. Communication exists in a shared movement of glissement , the mutual apprehension of the subject as ‘suspended’ across the void of non-savoir (not-knowing). The approach of death – or a willed approach to the radius of death – brings the subject to the limen of that void.

The speaker of Du mouvement et de l’immobilité de Douve describes the figure of Douve as[See note [xiii]]

Parée pour une fête dans le vide
Et les dents découvertes comme pour l’amour,

Fontaine de ma mort présente insoutenable.

Adorned for a festival in the void,
Teeth bared as if for love,

Fountain of my death living unbearable.

In Bataille’s L’histoire de l’érotisme (History of eroticism), fête  – feast or festival – is the transgression of a relation to being (être ) represented by simple absorption in physical sensation.[See note [xiv]]Ethnographically, fête is also a form of communication effected through a deliberate and exuberant dissemination of wealth, a symbolic display of indifference to the daily means by which life is sustained: thus it is the celebration accompanying sacrifice.[See note [xv]]Douve appears earlier in this sequence as ecstatically seeking her own sacrifice: ‘toute/ En quête de la mort sur les tambours exultants de [s]es gestes’ (‘all/ Bent on death on the exulting drums of [her] gestures’)[See note [xvi]]. In the lines quoted above, it is through the mediation of Douve that the speaker experiences the anguish which is the upsurge of death in the present. It is this implication of the other in one’s own experience of being which Bataille calls ‘communication’. L’amour is the relation in which communication – a form of découverte , or disclosure – takes place: love reveals ‘cette qualité d’être que chacun doit à la présence de l’autre’, (‘that quality of being that each owes to the presence of the other’).[See note [xvii]]

For Bonnefoy and Bataille, the desire for communication also requires the rejection of self-reflexive desires which assimilate and neutralise the autonomy of natural being, such as the irreflective being of the body. The desire that bears on the being of natural things seeks reabsorption in the sphere of natural being, linking ‘nous ne savons quel brillant intérieur, infiniment vague, aux plus aveugles mouvements de la nature’ (‘we know not what brilliant interior, infinitely obscure, to the most blind motions of nature’).[See note [xviii]]For Bataille, this desire differs from Hegel’s conception of ‘absorption’ in sensual contemplation in so far as it remains ambiguous, anguished, a suspension between possibilities of satisfaction and resolution, which, conflict remaining, cannot be either accepted or entirely refused. What is revealed by this desire is not, as for Hegel, the object contemplated, nor the independence of the human subject from the being of natural things. Rather, it is the inability of the subject to detach itself from natural being. Human being is always on the brink of falling back into a simple bodily sphere of being. Representations tend to conceal the silent and ceaseless mobility and chaos of the being proper to natural things – a mobility revealed in startling fashion in the numismatic iconography of the Gauls. In an influential article, ‘Le cheval académique’ (The academic horse), Bataille presented illustrations of a set of coins displaying representations which belie the ancient Greek belief in form’s manifestation of idea and essence. The Gnostic figures of horses on these coins show no regularity of form as one might expect on currency, but rather the boundless energy and inventiveness of a transgressive decomposition of form.

For Bonnefoy, it is also natural being which a certain desire bears upon – ‘le désir de l’immédiat’ (‘the desire for immediacy’) – and which is momentarily revealed in the movement of communication. This paradoxical desire, contra Hegel, is an openness to alterity; it is not a desire to assimilate the non-self to the self, but a desire for the other as other. But here, the ‘other’ is the being of natural things, perceived in relation to the being proper to subjectivity. In Du mouvement et de l’immobilité de Douve , Douve represents the alterity of natural being in relation to the principal speaker. A section entitled, ‘Douve parle’ (‘Douve speaks’), follows sequences culminating in the main speaker’s affirmation:[See note [xix]]

Tue cette voix qui criait à ma face
Que nous étions hagards et séparés,
Murés ces yeux: et je tiens Douve morte
Dans l’âpreté de soi avec moi refermée.

Et si grand soit le froid qui monte de ton être,
Si brûlant soit le gel de notre intimité,
Douve, je parle en toi; et je t’enserre
Dans l’acte de conna”tre et de nommer.

Silenced that voice which shouted to my face
That we are stranded and apart,
Walled up those eyes: and I hold Douve dead
In the rasping self locked with me again.

And however great the coldness rising from you,
However searing the ice of our embrace,
Douve, I do speak in you; and I clasp you
In the act of knowing and of naming.

Douve responds, remarking that it is her own voice – which is a kind of silence, the silence of alterity – that inspires the speaker’s cry of affirmation:[See note [xx]]

Pourtant ce cri sur moi vient de moi,
Je suis mûré dans mon extravagance.
Quelle divine ou quelle étrange voix
Eût consenti d’habiter mon silence?

And yet the cry comes from myself,
I am walled up in my extravagance.
What divine or what strange voice
Would have agreed to live in my silence?

Much of the force of Du mouvement et de l’immobilité de Douve is captured by the subjunctive modality of Douve’s eventual invocation: ‘Que le froid par ma mort se lève et prenne un sens’ (‘Let the cold by my death arise and take on meaning’)[See note [xxi]]. Douve desires that ‘the cold’ become meaningful for the observer: yet the observer does not produce that meaning: ‘Que le froid par ma mort se lève... ’. The cold she refers to is the revelation of subjectivity as néant , as unfounded, when all that remains is the enigma of being. It is a stage in the development of Douve’s death, which is marked by the speaker’s assertion in relation to Douve: ‘Je te tiens froide à une profondeur où les images ne prennent plus’ (‘I hold you cold at a depth where images will not take’)[See note [xxii]]. But the sense of enigma induced by the cold is not insurmountable. That it is to be understood as a ‘stage’ is confirmed by Douve’s desire that it ‘take on meaning’ – but only through the mediation of her death, and not by a turning away from death.

In anguish, wrote Blanchot, the subject is affected or ‘inspired’ by alterity, the distance between the self and its other. Nonetheless, in so far as it is the experience of subjectivity’s negation, anguish (symbolized by the cold) remains a relation to being that is mediated by subjectivity (‘notre tête’, ‘our head’)[See note [xxiii]]:

Au premier jour du froid notre tête s’évade
Comme un prisonnier fuit dans l’ozone majeur,
Mais Douve d’un instant cette flèche retombe
Et brise sur le sol les palmes de sa tête.

Ainsi avions-nous cru réincarner nos gestes,
Mais la tête niée nous buvons une eau froide,
Et des liasses de mort pavoisent ton sourire,
Ouverture tentée dans l’épaisseur du monde.

On the first day of cold the head escapes
As a prisoner flees into rarest air,
But Douve for an instant that arrow falls
And breaks its crown of palms on the ground.

So we had dreamed of incarnate gestures
But with mind cancelled we drink a cold water,
And death’s banners flutter at your smile,
Attempted rift in the thickness of the world.

(Bonnefoy 1992b.: 64)


The affirmation of presence

Douve may thus be read as the mise-en-scène of a ‘dialogue of anguish and desire’ (the title of the final section in the third book of poems, Pierre écrite [See note [xxiv]]). The speaker of the poems, desiring the presence of Douve, undergoes a trial (épreuve ) in which he is witness to the upsurge of her death in the form of the insistence of matter and her body’s gradual decay – an alterity of matter which threatens to disperse subjectivity itself. As the poems unfold, it is clear that the experience of anguish must be undergone as a precursor to affirming a renewed relation to being, symbolized by the repeated and mute illuminations of Douve’s abrupt gestures: ‘Le bras que tu soulèves, soudain, sur une porte, m’illumine à travers les âges.’ (‘The arm you lift, suddenly, at a doorway, lights me across the ages’)[See note [xxv]]. The gestures of Douve are neither vague nor obscure; rather, they are the source of a certainty (évidence) retained by the speaker after the event. They reveal the experience of presence as that of a paradoxical appearance which disappears, or disappearance which appears, as Blanchot, too, conceived it: ‘Village de braise, à chaque instant je te vois na”tre, Douve,/ À chaque instant mourir.’ (Village of embers, each instant I see you being born, Douve,/ Each instant dying.’)[See note [xxvi]].  

Douve’s acts (gestes ) mark the excess of an undialectic affirmation (the affirmation explored in L’improbable ) over a negation which remains dialectic (anguish remains a negative relation to subjectivity). Her ‘acts’ are often gestures. It is Douve’s body which undergoes a process of decomposition, and it is her body which affirms itself through gesture as containing a principle in excess of the pure matter by which it is invaded and to which it returns. Douve’s presence is affirmed in the ‘exulting drums of [her] gestures’, or the arm she raises suddenly across a threshold and which is a source of heat and illumination in the cold night of anguish.

Douve’s acts affirm a relation to the obscurity of being as presence other than a relation of anguish, in which ‘tout s’arrête’, and hope seems lost:[See note [xxvii]]

Secouant ta chevelure ou cendre de Phénix,
Quel geste tentes-tu quand tout s’arrête,

Et quand minuit dans l’être illumine les tables?

Shaking your hair or Phoenix’s ashes,
What motion do you make when everything stops,

And the inner midnight lights the tables?


The experience of disincarnation

For Bonnefoy, poetry is a source to which the poet returns, inquiring of presence, where it is to be found again... Blanchot writes of poetic language that ‘the word becomes desire , trusting to desire to bring it back to its source.’ Or, as René Char (quoted by Blanchot) proposed: ‘The poem is the realized love of desire still desiring.’[See note [xxviii]

The written trace of lost presence is a shadow cast by language upon the actual being of the writer, who is ‘l’origine’, the origin of the work. In Bonnefoy’s fourth book of poems, Dans le leurre du seuil (1975) (In the lure of the threshold) the boatman, Charon, figures the shadowy hand and body of the writer, attempting the crossing from the near shore of being to the far shore of language:[See note [xxix]]

Se jette en criant celui qui
Nous représente,
Ombre que fait l’espoir
Sur l’origine,

Et la seule unité, ce mouvement
Du corps - quand, tout d’un coup,
Da sa masse jetée contre la perche
Il nous oublie.  

He launches himself with a cry,
The one who represents us,
Shadow of hope fallen
Across the origin,

And the only unity, this motion
Of the flesh - when, of a sudden,
His weight thrown full against the pole,
We are forgotten.

The space of the poem is the unfolding and closing down again of the impossible motion in which the hope of maintaining a presence in language seems for an instant accomplished, ‘the origin blossoming into a beginning’[See note [xxx]].

But it is just that impossibility which will necessitate the interminable repetition of the crossing by the boatman: the act of writing, of remembering.[See note [xxxi]]

Mais non, toujours
D’un déploiement de l’aile de l’impossible
Tu t’éveilles, avec un cri,
Du lieu, qui n’est qu’un rêve.

But no, as always,
the wing of the impossible unfolding,
you awaken, with a cry,
from the place, that is nothing but a dream.

The sites in a poem where significations coagulate are paradoxically, the places at which presence is at once most close to expression, and the most intense site of its loss, ‘[b]lessure inguérissable’ (‘incurable wound’)[See note [xxxii]]:

Le ciel brille pourtant des mêmes signes,
Pourquoi le sens
A-t-il coagulé au flanc de l’Ourse,
Blessure inguérissable qui divise
Dans le fleuve de tout à travers tout
De son caillot, comme un chiffre de mort
L’afflux étincelant des vies obscures?

Yet the sky glitters with these signs,
Why has meaning dried like blood
On the flank of the Bear,
An incurable wound that divides
In the river of all life
With its clot, like a cipher for death,
The glistening flow of darkened lives?

The river crossed by the boatman is the motion of finitude. It is a metaphor for the idea of ‘the true place’ that Bonnefoy proposes in the essay ‘L’acte et le lieu de la poésie’, in which finitude would cease to be experienced as an enigma: ‘The true place is a fragment of time enveloped by eternity... in the true place chance loses its enigmatic character’[See note [xxxiii]].  

The section of the book titled ‘Deux barques’ (‘Two barges’) is an exploration of the communication with other beings sought by the poetic text, within the framework of the myth of the boatman-writer.  It opens onto a space of stillness and waiting; a presence has been, there has been an awakening; but now the writer remains restless while the presence sleeps and is silent. This is, perhaps, the imaginary space of ‘being’s inertia’ (Blanchot) between the deferred time of writing and the intimacy of being that has already retreated at the work’s approach:[See note [xxxiv]]

L’orage qui s’attarde, le lit défait,
La fenêtre qui bat dans la chaleur
Et le sang dans sa fièvre...  

The storm that will not break, the rumpled bed,
the windows fluttering in the heat
the fevered blood...

The windows flutter in the quiet space between inside and out, subject and other, the curved back and blood of the poet and the aridity of the image, from which the blood of presence is always already lost. Shutters vibrate in an atmosphere of immobility, a figure which returns us to the opening of the poem:[See note [xxxv]]

A nouveau ce bruit d’un ailleurs, proche, lointain;
Tu vas à ce volet qui vibre... Dehors, nul vent,
Les choses de la nuit sont immobiles

Again that noise of another place, close and far away;
You go to that shutter which is shivering... Outside, not a breath of wind,
the things of the night are still

The writer seeks to recover the body of the lover, dispersed through and by the poem:[See note [xxxvi]]

La main proche à son rêve, la cheville
A son anneau de barque retenue
...
Puis le regard, puis la bouche à l’absence
Et tout le brusque éveil dans l’été nocturne
Pour y porter l’orage et le finir.

Hand close to her dream, her heel
held by the tow-ring of the barge
...
Then the look, then the mouth, opening into absence
And all the brisk awakening in the summer night
To carry the storm there and be done.

The dissolution of being is the fatal end of writing; for language will, of necessity, ‘carry the storm there and be done’.

Before the prospect of dissolution, ‘[s]’étant accru en nous ce bruit de mer’ (‘having grown in us that sound of the sea’), the writer is tempted to forget the intimacy of presence, no longer to resist the dispersion of his being in his language, to accept the negativity of the enigma presence becomes at the approach of writing: ‘Et l’étranger l’exil, en toi, en moi/ Se fasse l’origine...’ (‘And the stranger called exile, in you, in me/ Makes itself the origin...’)[See note [xxxvii]]. But he is unable to forget; forgetting remains a relation to presence.

Approaching the memory of presence – ‘cette eau où fleurit nos ressemblances’ (‘that water where our likenesses bloom’)[See note [xxxviii]]– the writer imagines not simply his own desire, but the other’s desire to be a presence to him. The writer’s questioning of the other is a response to her desire:[See note [xxxix]]

Je murmure: C’est donc ce que tu veux,
Puissance errante insatisfaite par les mondes,
Te ramasser, une vie, dans le vase
De terre nue de notre identité?
Et c’est vrai qu’un instant tout est silence...

I murmur: So this is what you want,
Errant power dissatisfied by all the worlds,
To gather yourself, a life, to fill the vase
Of naked clay of our identity?
And it’s true that there was a moment’s silence...

This is an intimacy established with what must remain obscure, distant and uncertain, the presence of another; indeed, the other’s presence is maintained through and by means of that distance. The poet can only desire ‘[q]ue les lointains ne se séparent pas/ Une nouvelle fois du proche...’ (‘that those in the distance do not separate themselves/ Again from the one who draws near...’ )[See note [xl]].

Bonnefoy’s recent work, La vie errante (The wandering life), published forty years after the appearance of Douve , returns to the figure of a beautiful but elusive woman  threatened by violence, Helen of Troy. The images with which Bonnefoy has drawn out the ontological implications of those words, ordinary, even jaded in our mouths – desire, intimacy, communication – are reiterated there with as much power to move as in their first appearance: lightning, wind, fire, a cup of water offered a lover, a crumpled bed, clouds, dawn: a language of mythology and dream.


Notes

[i] Yves Bonnefoy, ‘Le Tout, Le Rien’/‘The Whole, The Nothingness’,  trans. John Naughton and Richard Stamelman, in New and selected poems , ed. John Naughton and Anthony Rudolf, (Chicago, 1995), 185–187. Translations from the French are my own if not otherwise indicated in the initial reference.
[ii] Bonnefoy, Le Nuage Rouge , (Paris, 1992), 285–300.
[iii] J. Libertson, Proximity: Levinas, Blanchot, Bataille and Communication , (The Hague, 1982).
[iv] Bonnefoy, Alberto Giacometti , (Paris, 1991).
[v] F. de Lussy, Yves Bonnefoy , exhibition catalogue, Bibliothèque Nationale, (Paris, 1992).
[vi] Maurice Blanchot, ‘Le grand refus’, La Nouvelle Revue Française , (1er octobre, 1959); ‘Comment découvrir l’obscur?’, La Nouvelle Revue Française , (1er novembre, 1959).
[vii] Bonnefoy, L’improbable et autres essais , (Paris, 1980).
[viii] Bonnefoy, ‘Critics, French and English, and the Distance between Them’, Encounter , (London, no. 58, 1958), 44.
[ix] Translated into English by Ann Smock as The space of literature , (Lincoln, 1982).
[x] Blanchot, (1982), 198.
[xi] Blanchot, The infinite conversation , trans. S. Hanson, (Minneapolis, 1993), 47.
[xii] Bataille, ‘L’expérience intérieure’, in Œuvres complètes, vol. 5, (Paris, 1973), 115.
[xiii] Bonnefoy, On the motion and immobility of Douve/ Du mouvement et de l’immobility de Douve , trans. Galway Kinnell, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1992), 56.
[xiv] Bataille, ‘L’histoire de l’érotisme’, in Œuvres complètes , vol. 8, (Paris, 1976a).
[xv] ibid.
[xvi] Bonnefoy, (1992), 48.
[xvii] ibid, 49.
[xviii] Bataille, ‘L’expérience intérieure’, in Œuvres complètes, vol. 5, (Paris, 1973), 112.
[xix] Bonnefoy (1992), 84.
[xx] ibid, 90.
[xxi] ibid, 100.
[xxii] ibid, 58.
[xxiii] ibid, 64.
[xxiv] Bonnefoy, Pierre écrite , in Poèmes , preface by Jean Starobinski, (Paris, 1982). Pierre écrite was first published in 1965.
[xxv] Bonnefoy, (1992), 49.
[xxvi] ibid.
[xxvii] ibid, 94.
[xxviii] Blanchot, (1982), 187.
[xxix] Bonnefoy, Dans le leurre du seuil , in Poèmes , preface by Jean Starobinski, (Paris, 1982), 265. Dans le leurre du seuil was first published in 1975.
[xxx] Blanchot, (1982), 205.
[xxxi] Bonnefoy, (1982), 253.
[xxxii] ibid, 254.
[xxxiii] Bonnefoy, (1980), 130.
[xxxiv] Bonnefoy, (1982), 275.
[xxxv] ibid, 253.
[xxxvi] ibid, 275.
[xxxvii] ibid.
[xxxviii] ibid, 276.
[xxxix] ibid, 277.
[xl] ibid.

Photo of Judith Bishop


Judith Bishop took a D.Phil at the University of Cambridge, England, where she wrote her dissertation on Yves Bonnefoy. She is currently a final-year doctoral student in Linguistics at the University of Melbourne, Australia.


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