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‘Le passeur d’eau’ d’Emile Verhaeren. A la confluence d’une nouvelle E(s)th(ét)ique

Author(s): Maria de Jesus Cabral

Journal: Carnets : Revue Electronique d'Etudes Françaises
ISSN 1646-7698

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 55;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Verhaeren | Symbolism | Schopenhauer | ethics | water | “passeur”

In the poetic itinerary of Emile Verhaeren, “Le Passeur d’eau” – as in the entire series of Villages Illusoires, appears in many ways as a transitional poem, between the first “Black Trilogy”, marked by the schopenhauerian pessimism, and the new ethic-aesthetic of Campagnes hallucinées. In this article we propose to show how the water theme – recurring in the Verhaerenian work – associated to the daily effort of “passeur” and to the human energy and to hope always renovated, acquires a mainly symbolic dimension. Water, the reflect of creation where the boatman’s gesture at the wheel of his small boat and the poet become one, reconciling in an inseparable way the poetics and ethics, representing a work “follement” turned towards the future, in the pivotal moment of awakening of Belgian literature.
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