From the post-War writings of Sartre and Blanchot to the post-structuralism of Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva, French philosophers have consistently debated the poetry of Stephane Mallarme, almost as a rite of passage. Alain Badiou, Jean-Claude Milner and Jacques Ranciere - three of the most important philosophers alive today - are no exception, having written extensively about the poet since the 1960's and 70's up until today. This book contains a series of interviews with these three figures on Mallarme, as well as an extended introduction that places their thought on literature into dialogue. Speaking about their personal and philosophical relationships with each other, on methods of reading, on poetry and politics, and poetry and mathematics, each philosopher reflects on their life-long engagement with Mallarme, as well as on the different, often incommensurable, images of the poet their philosophies have generated. As Ranciere, Milner and Badiou point to the past importance and future directions Mallarme gives to thought, these interviews lend credence to Barthes' remark that "all we can do is repeat Mallarme - and it is good that we do so".
Robert Boncardo has completed a doctorate in French Studies at The University of Sydney and Aix-Marseille Universite. Christian R. Gelder has completed a Master of Arts in English Literature at The Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia, The University of New South Wales.
Introduction: The subject to which everything is attached / 1. "A singular invention of language and thought": Jacques Ranciere / 2. "I believed I owed Mallarme the truth": Jean-Claude Milner / 3. "Mallarme said it all": Alain Badiou / Further Reading / Index