Christian R. Gelder  &  Robert Boncardo (eds.) Mallarmé: Rancière, Milner, Badiou (Rowman and Littlefield: 2017)

From the post-War writings of Sartre and Blanchot to the post-structuralism of Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva, French philosophers have consistently debated the poetry of Stéphane Mallarmé, almost as a rite of passage. Alain Badiou, Jean-Claude Milner and Jacques Rancière — three of the most important philosophers alive today — are no exception, having written extensively about the poet since the 1960s and 70s up until today. This book contains a series of interviews with these three figures on Mallarmé, as well as an extended introduction that places their thought on literature into dialogue. Speaking about their personal and philosophical relationships with each other, on methods of reading, on poetry and politics, and poetry and mathematics, each philosopher reflects on their life-long engagement with Mallarmé, as well as on the different, often incommensurable, images of the poet their philosophies have generated. As Rancière, Milner and Badiou point to the past importance and future directions Mallarmé gives to thought, these interviews lend credence to Barthes’ remark that “all we can do is repeat Mallarmé – and it is good that we do so”.

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