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Pas spécialement poétique : Dé-spécialisation de la poésie au tournant du 21ème siècle à partir des oeuvres de Nathalie Quintane et Christophe Tarkos

Abstract : Poetry talks about poetry; poets speak to poets. These have become self-evident tenets of a poetic modernity that has at once claimed a specific license for poetry and specific missions for the poet, and assumed their privileged isolation. When Nathalie Quintane writes on the back cover of Chaussure (“Shoe”, 1997) that “it really talks about shoes”, and that it is “a book of poetry that is not especially poetic, of a poetry that doesn’t force itself”, she emancipates herself from the specific locus of discourse that has come to be called “poetry”. When Christophe Tarkos affirms, on many occasions throughout his work, that poetry is a discourse of logical truth and clarification, of restrictive accuracy, of pragmatism and efficacy, as well as of discernment, he assigns tasks to it that remove it from the region of discourse to which it has long been assigned by so many traditions. Both Quintane and Tarkos diffuse and dilute the epistemic “question of poetry” (“la question de la poésie”, a very common phrase in French modernism) throughout the epistemological field ; they make the hodge-podge of all specific discourses into the general environment of reception and the general scale against which poetic discourse is measured. The first part of this thesis offers the coupling “question-of-poetry” / “question-if-poetry” as a way of characterizing the renewal, at the beginning of the 1990s, of the series of questions addressed to poetry in modernity. The second part broadens the scope of this problem: in the long-term, questioning the relevance of poetry as knowledge, discourse, and license amounts to questioning the character of the poet’s entitlement to know, to speak, and to make themselves into an exception. In a to-and-fro between a short plot (Francis Ponge, Jean-Marie Gleize, Christian Prigent) and a long plot (Plato, the sophists, German Romanticism, Heidegger), this thesis confronts the traditional specifications of poetry, the more or less poisoned kinds of license attributed to “the poem”, the more or less exclusive and excluding privileges granted to “the poet”, with the works of Quintane and Tarkos. From this perspective, the works of Quintane and Tarkos are radical : they tend to contest the attribution of any specificity to poetry (which they consider to be a public and secular activity that is subject to ordinary language), they are critical of the contemporary discursive division of labour, and strive to render impossible, by continual reference to archaic, classical, romantic, and modern schemas, the reconstitution of a poetic clergy in charge of telling the truth of Being, probing the depths of experience, or raising ordinary language out of its worldly compromises. Here, the word “poetry” no longer refers to a safe place of discourse or a non-place of knowledge, but to a kind of “critical thought” (Quintane) that is suspicious of any form of specialization, and assumes the same idiomatic condition as everyone : not knowing, as you start speaking, what you’re about to mean.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 8, 2021 - 2:18:27 PM
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François Lacire. Pas spécialement poétique : Dé-spécialisation de la poésie au tournant du 21ème siècle à partir des oeuvres de Nathalie Quintane et Christophe Tarkos. Sciences de l'Homme et Société. Université Polytechnique Hauts-de-France, 2020. Français. ⟨NNT : 2020UPHF0002⟩. ⟨tel-03371205⟩



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