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Yves Bonnefoy's writings have won him praise not only from readers and critics of French poetry, but also, thanks to translations into many other languages, from readers and critics of poetry far beyond the francophone world. Indeed, Bonnefoy may be the most admired poet to have emerged in France since World War II. Yet his art criticism, dazzling in its scope, possibly as original as his poetry, is yet to receive the attention it deserves. Searching for Presence: Yves Bonnefoy's Writings on Art undertakes to fill that lacuna. Elusive, skirting the ineffable, the notion of presence has haunted Bonnefoy for decades. Central to the notion for the poet is the fleeting experience of mutuality between self and other, of lightning transaction in a transient world, of a shared mortal destiny, hence a plenitude within finitude. In an age when so many of his contemporaries seem to view any form of art as wallpaper spanning a void, Bonnefoy's faith in presence is all the more welcome. Focusing on his art criticism, the aspect of the poet's oeuvre in which the notion of presence is the most salient, this study tries to do justice to that fidelity.
Editions Rodopi B.V.
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