L’Impersonnalité de Mallarmé: Notes sur la valeur de l’œuvre moderne

This article contends that Mallarmé’s use of the word “impersonnalité” at several key moments in his literary career (1866–1898) is linked to his sophisticated understanding of how works of art build up their own aesthetic value, often considered in terms of the glorious or the sacred. Whereas Mallarmé’s impersonnality has generally been either neglected as self-evident or considered as part of an auctorial strategy allowing the poet to reinforce his position in the “champ littéraire,” I suggest that it also strategically engages the work’s critical distribution towards its readership, bearing witness to the theoretical importance of Mallarmé’s thought. Through a discussion of his early correspondence and a reading of his more mature prose, as well as of his poem “Le Pitre châtié,” the article traces the evolution of Mallarmé’s use of impersonality, from a prevailing poetic malediction to an ideal or idealistic, theoretical encounter of author and reader. (In French)

Annick Ettlin
Volume 45.1-2