Study of violence as a literary technique in the poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire
The thesis is a study of the development of a poetic technique and its increasing importance in the evolution of Apollinaire's poetic styles. In describing the technique as "violence" the thesis offers a definition not only of the technique itself but also of the intentions of the poet both in the composition of the poems and in their final effects. By analysing and attempting a critical explication of Apollinaire's poetry in chronological order, the thesis thus shows not only the development of the technique but also that this technique constitutes the underlying unity of Apollinaire's poetry which has traditionally been analysed in terms of conflicting influences and intentions. While accepting the importance of the influence of symbolism on the early poetry and even the permanence of certain aspects of this influence, the thesis shows the degree of originality present throughout the evolution of both the early poems and the later poems. Since supposed influences of the plastic arts, and in particular the development of Cubism, have often been assumed or even shown - although never satisfactorily - to be at the origin of Apollinaire's movement away from symbolism and more traditional forms of poetic expression towards experimental and concrete forms of poetry, the thesis gives due weighting to the presence of the techniques of violence in the early poetry and consequently proves Apollinaire's poetic development to be consistent with himself. Due emphasis given to the continuity of Apollinaire's techniques as well as to the consistency of such expressions of intent as the poet made, the thesis concludes that the originality of Apollinaire's poetry lies mainly in his exploitation of the techniques of violence.