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

Kerr, G. and Montémont, V. (2019) Between borders: French-language poetry and the poetics of statelessness. Modern Languages Open, 1, 7. (doi: 10.3828/mlo.v0i0.208)

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Abstract

This special collection explores 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. In the opening decades of the twentieth century, events such as the Armenian genocide, the Russian Revolution, or the rise of fascism and political anti-Semitism in European countries precipitated stateless persons onto the international stage. France was the primary host country for stateless refugees in those years (OFPRA), one factor which accounts for the high concentration in this special collection of French-language writing; of translingual writing in French, and of translingual writing produced in France. Indeed, a number of the poets featured here (Guillaume Apollinaire, Chahan Chahnour/Armen Lubin, and Ghérasim Luca) were themselves stateless, or claimed to be so, and as some of the contributions 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 articles draw on this context, others are marked by more contemporary configurations of questions of belonging, migration and translinguality. Though the present selection makes no claim to be fully comprehensive, the featured contributions range widely across national boundaries, notably moving between Armenian, French, German and Romanian literary traditions. Together they offer a compelling picture of the development of poetic practice in the modern and contemporary period.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This is a co-authored introduction to a forthcoming special issue (or 'special collection') of the online journal Modern Languages Open. The SI is entitled: 'Between borders: French-language poetry and the poetics of statelessness'. Greg Kerr is based in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at UofG and Véronique Montémont is based at the Université de Lorraine, France.
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kerr, Dr Greg
Authors: Kerr, G., and Montémont, V.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PQ Romance literatures
College/School:College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > French
Journal Name:Modern Languages Open
Publisher:Liverpool University Press
ISSN:2052-5397
ISSN (Online):2052-5397
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Modern Languages Open 1:7
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

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