Debussy’s “Trois poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé” (1913) are among the relatively infrequent instances of musical settings of Mallarmé’s poetry. Following Jankélévitch on Debussy and a host of critics on Mallarmé, Professor Acquisto argues that these poems and songs comment on communicating the ineffable.
Associate Professor of French at the University of Vermont, Joseph Acquisto specialises in nineteenth-and twentieth-century literature, especially poetry and the novel, with particular interest in the relations among literature, music, and philosophy. He is the author of articles on Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Proust, Cioran, and others, and of French Symbolist Poetry and the Idea of Music (Ashgate, 2006) and the forthcoming Crusoes and Other Castaways in Modern French Literature: Solitary Adventures (University of Delaware Press). He has just finished work on an edited volume provisionally entitled Thinking Poetry: Philosophical Approaches to Nineteenth-Century French Poetry and is currently working on a book on pessimism and antimodernism in Baudelaire and Cioran.