The Poetry at the Age of Capital: Francis Ponge

  • Guido Mattia Gallerani ITEM (Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes), ENS/CNRS
Keywords: Ponge, Poetry, Lyrics, écrivain-artisan, Trade Union, Marx, Posture, Restaurant, Office, Manet


Two prose poems of Le Parti pris des choses (1942), entitled R.C. Seine and Le restaurant Lemeunier, are different from others texts of the book because the subject, which is not a bear inactive thing, but a social body. They describe a group of people and are set in an office and in a restaurant. This article claims that the subject of both poems by Francis Ponge is the working time rather than the description of a social place. The condemnation of the capitalistic production appears clearly by temporality’s deformation of the human time along the sequence of the two texts within the book. Moreover, the poems stand for the representation of a workday in compliance with the analysis in The Capital by Karl Marx.
My aim is to develop a particular analysis of textual elaboration of the author’s poetics, through genetic study of preliminary texts, interviews, and his political discours as trade unionist. First, Ponge’s discourse seems presenting an opposition between politics and poetry. Then, we discuss the presence of such contrast inside his texts. Finally, we see that Ponge creates an incomplete and pending discourse waiting for politics as natural complement of common concerns about modern individual, according to his literary posture and his poetics.


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Author Biography

Guido Mattia Gallerani, ITEM (Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes), ENS/CNRS
Postdoc Fellow of the City of Paris


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How to Cite
Gallerani, G. M. (2015). The Poetry at the Age of Capital: Francis Ponge. Between, 5(10).