New Book: “Poésie et science(s) chez Saint-John Perse”


Poésie et science(s) chez Saint-John Perse is a new study by Laurent Fels. The book focuses on Guadeoupean-born poet and diplomat, Alexis Leger, who wrote as Saint-John Perse and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1960.

Description: The Nobel Prize acceptance speech—in which Saint-John Perse states that, for the scholar as well as the poet, “the interrogation is the same one that they extend over the same abyss; only their modes of exploration differ”—invites us to study the influences that scientific knowledge has had on his work, as well as the importance of Bergson’s work, which strongly influenced the poet.

83381Referring to Einstein and quantum physics, Saint-John Perse understood that poetry is science just as science is poetry, so much so that there is an interaction between poetic truth and scientific truth. If the scientist uses scientific tools while the poet relies on his intuition, the object of their quest remains the same. The present work aims to analyze the ways in which the influences of Bergsonism, but also the scientific discourse of the time, nourished the work of Saint-John Perse, a work that claimed a cosmic openness.

[Translated by Ivette Romero.] For full description (in French), see

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