Elisabeth A. Howe

Listed in: Literary Criticism, France · Literary Studies

Winner of the 1989 NEMLA-Ohio University Press Book Award

Stages of Self · Dramatic Monologues of Laforgue, Valéry, and Mallarmé
By Elisabeth A. Howe

The dramatic monologue has attracted considerable critical attention in English but is rarely considered relevant to French poetry and has generally been ignored in studies of comparative literature. In Stages of Self, various poems by Jules Laforgue, Stephane Mallarmé, and Paul Ambroise Valery are analyzed to show that they conform to the norms of the genre even though they bear little surface resemblance to the dramatic monologues by Browning, Pound, or Eliot.

“The book is gracefully written, clearly organized, and coherently argued…. This is a worthwhile and interesting book, which convincingly establishes the centrality of the dramatic monologue in late nineteenth-century poetry and the importance of the varying concept of the self evolved in it.”

Michele Hannoosh, Comparative Literature