Convention and parody in the rhyming of Tristan Corbière

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In classical verse, the constraint on number in the rhyme is a sub-case of the general constraint against floating consonants. We point out the specific nature of this constraint by reviewing the hierarchy of rules that affect these consonants (§ 1.1, 1.2.1). This presentation is the core of the article, whose goal is to illustrate the application of this constraint by one 19th century French poet whose work constitutes one of the final stages in the evolution of traditional usage, before the constraint was dismantled by Jules Laforgue. By its nature, this application of the constraint falls outside the normal typology by reason of the stylistic consequences involved. Corbière draws on every possible resource available, both in poetic language and in various kinds of grammatical licence, to preserve a rule that he turns into a parody of itself.


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