Masson and Mallarmé's: Un Coup de dés An Esthetic Comparison


Study of André Masson's lithographic rendition of Mallarmé's poem Un Coup de dés. The surrealist's two dimensional polychromatic word for word interpretation and – with a single exception – line for line copying of the text provide an even sharper contrast to Virginia La Charité's thorough typographical and spacial exegesis on Un Coup de dés than the most glaring postmodern distortions. Far from continuing or elaborating on Mallarmés project, Masson has contrived a systematic substitution of graphics, including calligraphy, for a typographical chef-d'œuvre, thus enabling an unforeseen and uninvited art form to usurp the territory of another. Shaped like a Chinese pictograph, Masson's "Avertissement" clearly reveals his awareness of the heretical nature of his enterprise. (RRH/JDH)

Hubert, Judd, and Renée Riese Hubert
Release Year:
1990 Spring-Summer; 18(3-4): 508-23.