Exile Non-Belonging and Statelessness in Grangaud, Jabès, Lubin and Luca
No man’s language
EXILE NON-BELONGING AND STATELESSNESS IN GRANGAUD
A brief survey of some works in contemporary French poetics can help to summarise some of the themes of earlier chapters in this book. In an essay from the volume Actes [‘Acts’], ‘Réponse à un journaliste’ [‘Answer to a journalist’], in which he comments on the oeuvre of Dante, Michel Deguy rejects the suggestion that poetry should be taken as the expression of a particular political commitment.
Deguy moreover argues that it is misleading to attempt to categorise poetry as a field of knowledge analogous to those of politics or philosophy or history, since poetry is not ultimately amenable to articulation in terms of discursive or logical properties, such as causality or dialectics.
In turn, since he or she has relinquished any particular stake within the broader discursive economy common to these different fields, the poet can be considered as ‘sans état’ (emphasising a specific meaning of ‘état’ which equates to ‘occupation’ or ‘status’): ‘nous pourrions dire que par état le poète est sans état ; celui qui suspend tout engagement pour révéler l’assise poétique de tout état’ [‘we could say that in terms of occupation or trade, the poet is occupation-less or trade-less; the one who suspends all commitment in order to reveal the poetic foundation of any occupation or status’].1
Poetry is thus marked by relinquishment or retraction of the very properties that would enable the poem to be constituted as an object of knowledge, or that would allow poetry to be counted as an occupation among others.
Meanwhile, through a survey of the period corresponding to the poetic extrême Contemporain, Jean-Claude Pinson asks precisely how one can account for the specificity of poetry given the progressive erosion of those factors which traditionally conferred on it its cultural authority.
Pinson acknowledges that poetry has had to relinquish claims that it could give access to a transcendental realm; it has foregone its privileged role in the preservation of collective tradition; it has broken with the myth of inspiration, and is no longer identifiable on the basis of formal criteria.
Pinson argues that ‘c’est dans l’instant où il desserre le lien communautaire et troue le réseau des représentations symboliques