Jude Stéfan
(France, 1930)   
Jude Stéfan

The darker side of lyricism. Under the sign, narcissistic and charged with meaning, of an I eaten up with the fear of sex and death. A‘warm’ style, a “euphonious, literate, deleterious despair”.

The antithesis of the type of poetry which bans any expression of feeling for fear of sentiment. Here, emotion is "bronzed" by form, by the actual rhythm. Although Stéfan calls his latest writings prose poems, they are verse par excellence. His detractors may say that such forms are archaic, a rhetorical game dangerously close to Baroque affectation and Mannerism. Proliferating metaphors, antique, provocative turns of phrase. Subject-matter which harks back to the past, morbid hedonism, the evocation of a dark Orient, Jude Stéfan's poetic "true lies" are a unique case of fictional poetry, a shadow play in which lovers of both sexes, the pure and impure, the desperate both famous and anonymous, all meet. His work also charts solitude and anguish, a search for unforgetting, entirely recorded in signs. The sobs of the time after the event. Stéfan's poetry, which usually takes the form of epigrams or suites, almost invariably turns out to be a swift, continuous flow, a race against death, a straining towards the natal which leaves us on "the far side /a place to kneel" at the end of the poem. The shameless body of speech is placed under the dual sign of a curse and an exultation, with a formal energy which changes the appalling into beauty, the despair of the dying body into a plea for youth and eternal virginity. A French celebration.

© Claude Adelen (Translated by Anne Talvaz)


Subscribe to the newsletter

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter Follow us (international)  

follow us on facebook follow us on twitter Follow us (Dutch)