L’air du temps . . . Apollinaire et la race

Apollinaire’s work is heavily influenced by cosmopolitanism, which does not preclude finding elements in it that are related to ongoing thoughts about race that saturated the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This article proposes to explore this tendency, without overestimating it, in two directions. First, it will deal with Apollinaire’s thinking about race through explicit statements on the topic. For example, he was sufficiently aware of nineteenth-century theories of race that he wrote that “Gobineau could not be fashionable in a civilized country.” Additionally, we will try to determine, more indirectly, how his conceptual tools and his thoughts about race are reflected in his writings, when he evokes, for example, “the Jewish” or “Negro” race to which he appears well disposed, but which he nevertheless describes with language suggesting racialized thought. (In French)

Jérémy Guedj
Université Côte d’Azur