Thursday, November 17, 2011

Draft footnote of the day: Mallarme

20.22 throw of the dice Clarissa’s musings echo the title of (but resist the sentiment expressed in) Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem, “Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard” (A Dice Throw At Any Time Never Will Abolish Chance.”) Mallarmé (1842-1896) died almost unknown and a definitive edition of his poem was not published until 1913. For a discussion of Mallarmé’s influence on Hope Mirlees as well as Mirrlees’ importance to Woolf, see Briggs (in Scott) 267 ff. Roger Fry would translate Mallarmé in 1936. The Woolfs had both the 1913 French edition of Mallarmé’s works and the later Fry translation in their library. The typographically experimental poem opens with an image that juxtaposes the chance of a dice throw with a shipwreck: “A THROW OF THE DICE / AT ANY TIME / EVEN WHEN CAST IN  / EVERYLASTING CIRCUMSTANCES / FROM THE DEPTH OF A SHIPWRECK” (1-5).
I couldn't have predicted this one.

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