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The most honest testimony begins where it cannot be given. That is, when the testimony speaks to a kind of suffering from which the medium itself suffers. Rather than mastering the poetic form that communicates the poet’s lack of mastery, the poetry that this study will address evinces content through its interference with form. The poet’s failure to forge a link between language, the self, and the world results in work that bears witness to these ruptures. And yet, the confluence between the disruption of the poetic form and the poet’s own adversity ultimately manages to create another link, as the poetry participates in the same conflicts experienced by the poet. The language points to what it cannot articulate by revealing the instances of its own failure. The success of this kind of failure will be the principal concern in the following analysis of Antonin Artaud’s poetry and Stéphane Mallarmé’s unfinished text Pour un tombeau d’Anatole.
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Lotterman, Wendy, "Calligrams of Absence" (2012). Senior Projects Spring 2012. 11.
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