Title

“Transformation, Trajectory, and Deleuze in Réda’s L’Improviste”

Subject Area

French and Francophone Studies

Abstract

French poet Jacques Réda’s foundational relation to jazz is clear throughout his work. In particular, the striking blend of poetry and prose in L’Improviste, une lecture du jazz (The Improviser: A Reading of Jazz), foregrounds the primacy of jazz in his writing. Recent readings consider L’Improviste a focal point for examining the convergence of jazz rhythms with the aesthetics of literary portraiture (Didier Alexandre) and Réda’s poetic structure (Eric Prieto), while others see the text as “a realm of memory that surpasses cultural borders” (Aaron Prevots). The multifaceted perspectives these studies open into Réda’s poetics are especially relevant to the monumental series of poems in L’Improviste, “Quatre lettres de Coleman Hawkins” (“Four Letters of Coleman Hawkins”), which span thirty-five years of Hawkins’ career and present what unfolds as a hero’s journey through elements of epic poetry. As such, this study examines how the poet’s improvisational virtuosity charts Hawkins’ creative trajectory over time through multiple structural and thematic approaches that parallel Hawkins’ lyric range, with each of the four poetic ‘letters’ addressed to a different jazz collaborator, each dated according to a milestone recording or event in Hawkins’ life from 1934 to 1969, and each voicing a distinct structure of rhythm, rhyme and images. This study also considers the spatial dimensions of Deleuze and Guattari’s thought, including deterritorialization, lines of flight, and the refrain, to examine Réda’s poetic practice as spatial practice in mapping Hawkins’ aesthetic trajectory.

Brief Bio Note

Lynn Anderson received her Ph.D. in French from Princeton University and is Associate Professor of French at the University of West Georgia. She focuses on the structure of poetic language, spatial literary studies, interdisciplinary aesthetics, and film studies, and has published on Du Bellay, Jacques Réda, and Philippe Jaccottet.

Keywords

20th century poetry, French poetry, Deleuze and Guattari

Location

Room 218

Presentation Year

2017

Start Date

3-24-2017 3:45 PM

Embargo

11-18-2016

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 24th, 3:45 PM

“Transformation, Trajectory, and Deleuze in Réda’s L’Improviste”

Room 218

French poet Jacques Réda’s foundational relation to jazz is clear throughout his work. In particular, the striking blend of poetry and prose in L’Improviste, une lecture du jazz (The Improviser: A Reading of Jazz), foregrounds the primacy of jazz in his writing. Recent readings consider L’Improviste a focal point for examining the convergence of jazz rhythms with the aesthetics of literary portraiture (Didier Alexandre) and Réda’s poetic structure (Eric Prieto), while others see the text as “a realm of memory that surpasses cultural borders” (Aaron Prevots). The multifaceted perspectives these studies open into Réda’s poetics are especially relevant to the monumental series of poems in L’Improviste, “Quatre lettres de Coleman Hawkins” (“Four Letters of Coleman Hawkins”), which span thirty-five years of Hawkins’ career and present what unfolds as a hero’s journey through elements of epic poetry. As such, this study examines how the poet’s improvisational virtuosity charts Hawkins’ creative trajectory over time through multiple structural and thematic approaches that parallel Hawkins’ lyric range, with each of the four poetic ‘letters’ addressed to a different jazz collaborator, each dated according to a milestone recording or event in Hawkins’ life from 1934 to 1969, and each voicing a distinct structure of rhythm, rhyme and images. This study also considers the spatial dimensions of Deleuze and Guattari’s thought, including deterritorialization, lines of flight, and the refrain, to examine Réda’s poetic practice as spatial practice in mapping Hawkins’ aesthetic trajectory.