The Poetry at the Age of Capital: Francis Ponge

Guido Mattia Gallerani


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.


Ponge; Poetry; Lyrics; écrivain-artisan; Trade Union; Marx; Posture; Restaurant; Office; Manet


Auclerc, Benoît, “Ponge avant Ponge : incertitudes”, Politiques de Ponge, Revue des Sciences Humaines, 316 (2014): 19-34.

Auclerc, Benoît, – Gorrillot, Bénédicte (ed.), Politiques de Ponge, Revue des Sciences Humaines, 316 (2014).

Barthes, Roland, Œuvres Complètes, Ed. Éric Marty, vol. 1 (1942-1961), Paris, Seuil, 2002.

Gleize, Jean-Marie, Francis Ponge, Paris, Seuil, 1988.

Higgins, Jan, “Language, Politics and Things: The Weakness of Ponge’s Satire Higgins”, Neophilologus, 63.3 (1979): 347-62.

Lautréamont, Poésies II, Œuvres complètes, Paris, Garnier-Flammarion, 1969.

Marx, Karl, Il capitale, vol. 1, Eds. Aurelio Macchioro – Bruno Maffi, Torino, Utet, 2009.

Meizoz, Jérôme, Postures littéraires. Mises en scène modernes de l’auteur, Genève, Slatkine Érudition, 2007.

Id., “Modern Posterities of Posture. Jean-Jacques Rousseau”, Authorship Revisited: Conceptions of Authorship around 1900 and 2000, Eds. Gillis Jan Dorleijn - Ralf Grüttemeier, Leuven, Peeters, 2010: 81–93.

Nunley, Charles, “Ponge and Manet: Reading the Urban through the Painter’s Lens in Parti pris des choses”, Symposium, 50.4 (1997): 211-23.

Ponge, Francis, Œuvres complètes, vol. 1, Ed. Bernard Beugnot, Paris, Gallimard, «Bibliothèque de la Pléiade», 1999.

Id., Pages d’atelier 1917-1982, Ed. Bernard Beugnot, Paris, Gallimard, 2005.

Ponge, Francis - Sollers, Philippe, Entretiens de Francis Ponge avec Philippe Sollers, Radio France-Culture, 18 aprile - 12 maggio 1967; Paris, Gallimard/Seuil, 1970.

Sartre, Jean-Paul, “L’homme et les choses” (1944), Situations I (1947), Paris, Gallimard, 2005: 226-270.

Veck, Bernard, Le Parti pris de choses, Paris, Bertrand-Lacoste, 1994.



Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


Between is published by the University of Cagliari - Maintenance for this OJS installation is provided by UniCA Open Journals, hosted by Sistema Bibliotecario di Ateneo.

Between Journal was founded in 2011 with the financial contribution of Fondazione Banco di Sardegna (years 2010-2011).

ISSN 2039-6597 

CC-By lockssDOAJ seal SPARC Europe