Ciaran Carson’s The Alexandrine Plan and two versions of a fantasy
Reason for embargo
Temporary embargo required due to publisher policy.
This article considers the relation between the versions of sonnets by Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Mallarmé that make up Ciaran Carson’s collection The Alexandrine Plan (1998) and the French poems from which they stem. I explore aspects of Carson’s adaptive practice, including personification, sound patterning, and the use of domestication and foreignization. The latter part of the article performs a comparative close reading of Carson’s version of Rimbaud’s ‘Ma bohème’ with a virtuoso version of the poem by Patrick McGuinness. The poets’ engagement with their source texts is attentive to their technical and stylistic accomplishments whilst also being playful and creative. The nineteenth-century text is seen as a catalyst, a partner in a creative exchange that reminds us in new ways of the riches of long-familiar poems.
© 2014 W. S. Maney & Son Ltd. Author's accepted manuscript version deposited in accordance with SHERPA RoMEO guidelines. The definitive version is available at http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/1478731814Z.00000000055.
Vol. 18, Issue 2, pp. 224 - 237