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Publication - Professor Susan Harrow

    Modernist monstrosity in Rimbaud's verse and prose poetry


    Harrow, S, 2018, ‘Modernist monstrosity in Rimbaud's verse and prose poetry’. Australian Journal of French Studies, vol 55., pp. 138-153


    Rimbaud's poetry and poetics contribute to the prodigious genealogy of monstrosity in Western literature and visual culture. This article argues that monster figures - whether the “familiar” terrors of iconographic tradition, horrible hybrids, or everyday bogeymen - are central to the transformative momentum of modernism in Rimbaud's verse and prose poetry. Monstrosity - multifariously embodied and endlessly morphing - generates social, cultural, and political fantasy, challenging orthodoxies, displacing structures, and empowering readers. Through the lacerating light it projects on forms of cultural constraint and aesthetic (self-) limitation, monstrosity is revealed as the force capable of re-visioning poetry and of deepening our equivocal sense of what it is to be human.

    Full details in the University publications repository