A Saussurean Solution: Embodying 'Presence' in Yves Bonnefoy’s Poetics
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This paper uses the work of contemporary French poet Yves Bonnefoy to examine the difficulty of making poetry carry the burden of transmitting a position that is, at least in part, philosophical. Bonnefoy’s work is characterized by his strong affirmation of the notion of “presence” which, he argues, can genuinely inhabit the poetic text, allowing readers to directly obtain an experience of it. He is, however, intensely aware of the barrier erected by language. His solution is to use the tools of Saussurean linguistics to suggest a means by which presence might inhabit the text.