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Genius in FranceAn Idea and Its Uses$
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Ann Jefferson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691160658

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691160658.001.0001

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The Romantic Poet and the Brotherhood of Genius

The Romantic Poet and the Brotherhood of Genius

(p.67) Chapter 5 The Romantic Poet and the Brotherhood of Genius
Genius in France

Ann Jefferson

Princeton University Press

This chapter traces the emergence of a new poetry that presents its credentials as lying not with any preexisting literary or national tradition, but with the genius of the individual poet. Despite the real success of the volumes published in this spirit, the poet is portrayed, like Moses abandoned by his people, as having no public. The collective “other” that might afford him recognition is absent, and in the words of Victor Hugo, his was a voice crying in the wilderness, and singing to the deaf. The new poets thus enter the literary field announcing in advance that they will go unheard by a world that is fundamentally hostile.

Keywords:   Romantic poets, rejected genius, martyred genius, poetry, public recognition, individual genius, Victor Hugo

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