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Apollinaire's “Zone,” Catholicism, and the Paradox of French Modernity

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Since at least the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, modernity in France has been understood primarily in terms of a rupture with Catholicism. Through a close reading of the poem “Zone,” this article shows how Guillaume Apollinaire's poetics challenges the conventional notion of modernity-as-rupture by exposing Catholicism's persistent residuality into the modern era. Instead of breaking with France's Catholic past, Apollinaire's modernism poetically displaces it, thereby holding in suspension both modernity's desire for rupture and the object with which it seeks to break.

Affiliations: 1: Brigham Young University


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