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The Transfer of lied and the renewal of French poetry between 1840 and 1914 : critical discourse, translation, poetical reappropriation


From 1840 to 1914, numerous Germanophile writers deepen a task which has been undertaken since the turn of the nineteenth century, namely the transfer of Germanic lyrical poetry to France. The imported corpus, called lied in Germanic states and France, mainly consists in poetical works written between the end of the eighteenth and the middle of the nineteenth century. The interest it draws is all the more important that it goes beyond literature and resonates with endogenous metaphysical and semiotical questionings. This link between several fields leads to a transdisciplinary perspective, following the example of cultural transfer studies. Such an approach is combined with an archaeological one, in Foucault’s terms, since the relations between implied fields always take root in a common épistémè. Indeed, regardless of their type (critical discourse, translation or francophone poems inspired by Germanic poetry) and of their content (related to literature, metaphysics or semiotics), intercessors and writers’ texts are based on identical intellectual configurations. To examine relations between the lied and specific aspects of the endogenous area enables us to shed light on another phenomenon. At a time when more and more critics and authors seek new paths to liberate themselves from persistent traditions, Germanic poetry is often regarded as an achievement of modern aspirations. More than a mere echo, it becomes therefore a decisive vector of poetical evolution in the host culture.

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