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Title: Form and love in the poetry of Jacques Roubaud
Author: Petrou, T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 6621
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This dissertation explores the relationship between form and the figuration of love in the poetry of Jacques Roubaud. I begin with Roubaud's decision to institute form at the centre of his poetic practice. While rejecting the freer verse forms associated with Surrealist poetry, Roubaud maintains an ambiguous relationship with the work of Paul Éluard, placing the earlier poet at the heart of his theoretical understanding of an inextricable link between love and poetry, form and memory. I then analyse the particular place of Roubaud's muse within poetic form, and her relation to Roubaud's key concepts of literary constraint and memory. I read parts of Trente et un au cube (1973) through the lens of Lacan's theory of sexual difference and Irigaray's response, finding that the position of Roubaud's poetic beloved in the poems overlaps with that of the reader. Roubaud offers his reader spaces in which to invest her own associations and memory, and to contribute to the productivity of his practice of formal constraint. I go on to consider the differing roles of the Lacanian and Irigarayan sexual disjunction in the relation between the poet and his beloved, particularly expressed through moments of sleep and silence. While it is an ambivalent space, the disjunction may also be the site in which the individuality of both terms in the love relation flourishes, allowing for mobility in that relation. Finally, I reflect on that collaboration between poet and beloved by retracing the journey taken thus far through a selection of subsequent works written as the poet mourns the loss of his wife, Alix Cléo. A key text is Du noir tombe (1985), a poetry collection read here for the first time as relating to Roubaud's loss, and I consider the interaction of Alix Cléo's photography and Roubaud's notion of poetic form.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available