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Reading Nelligan by Emile J. Talbot
  

Synopsis

Reading Nelligan by Emile J. Talbot

Emile Nelligan (1879-1941) wrote all of his poetry as an adolescent, before spending four decades in a psychiatric asylum. Considering all of Nelligan's work and using a largely textual approach, Emile Talbot points out the Canadian roots of Nelligan's originality. He argues that these are discernable despite Nelligan's use of the discourse of nineteenth-century continental French poetry, particularly that of the Parnassians and the Decadents. Talbot's textual analysis is integrated with a consideration of the social, cultural, artistic, and religious climate of both late nineteenth-century Montreal and the European literary culture to which Nelligan was responding. Talbot considers such pertinent factors as the spirituality of guilt, the role of the mother, and a societal context that rejected both the revelation of the self and the autonomy of art. In doing so he sheds new light on Nelligan's use of European poetic language to fashion a poetry marked by his own culture.

Reviews

Talbot's remarkable work sheds new light on Nelligan's writings and he succeeds in intelligently integrating, in a single movement, all existing research with his own readings through an exploration of the intertextuality of the poetic discourse. Jacques Michon, Departement des lettres et communications, Universite de Sherbrooke.


About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

5th May 2003

Author

Emile J. Talbot

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Publisher

McGill-Queen's University Press

Format

Paperback
224 pages

Categories

Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900

ISBN

9780773524798

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