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By Larissa Lai

Poetry concerning the look for self amidst the shrill din of technology.

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He had no inflated notions of romantic love, and his recent depression had doubtless made him value steady companionship the more. , i. 53). Essentially he seems to have thought that since happiness with another person was in any case a vain objective, he might as well do the decent thing: ‘I would be mad to marry Marie for the sake of my own happiness. Does happiness even exist on this earth? And should one seek it – seriously seek it – anywhere but in dream. It is life’s false goal: the true one is Duty, whether that Duty be called art, or the struggle for something, or whatever.

He was already planning for the summer holidays. Household expenses are mounting, and he wonders even about taking up the suggestion of one of Cazalis’s acquaintances that he give a course of twelve lectures on French Romantic poetry in Switzerland that summer. But August seemed distant. , i. 150). ’ And baby Geneviève? , i. 151) After a long day in the classroom the evening he had been looking forward to – ‘Jacob’s holy hour, the struggle with the Ideal’ – is a purgatory of blank exhaustion. He apologizes to Cazalis for moaning, but .

Mallarmé had long since, and much to his grandmother’s sad displeasure, ‘lapsed’ from the Catholic faith in which he had been brought up. But here he consciously and indeed happily adopts a thorough-going atheist position as the future basis for his poetry. The other ‘chasm’ is his chest. He genuinely fears that he may not have long to live, and this exacerbates his impatience at having to earn a living in order to support his wife and child. Eventually, in August, he sought – and received – assurance from a homeopathic doctor in Avignon that his lungs were not affected.

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