Australian Journal of French Studies

Poetry, Care and Value: Jean-Michel Maulpoix’s Une histoire de bleu (1992)

Australian Journal of French Studies (2020), 57, (3), 307–321.

Abstract

Contemporary French poetry—and poetry more generally—has much to gain from current thinking around care and empathy in humanities research. Critical focus on the work of repair and consolation in narrative literatures of the past and the present resonates with poetry’s motivation and its agency. Reciprocally, the “care turn” can begin to expand its reach and deepen its significance through immersive readings of poetry alert to the imbrications of thought and word. Spurred by a sense of the (underexamined) reciprocity of poetry and care studies, I explore the idea and the practice of care in Jean-Michel Maulpoix’s Une histoire de bleu (1992) in relation to the value and values of colour. I argue that care for the natural world, for human experience, and for language is envisioned, practised and sustained through poetry’s rapt attention to the moving and morphing of blue.

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Author details

HARROW, SUSAN