gb fr

Poetry Beneath the Waves: ‘Le Bateau ivre’ and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas

Avant-garde poetry might justifiably be seen as the most rarefied of literary genres. But many pioneering nineteenth-century poets had a magpie-like quality, drawing from any and all sources in search of literary inspiration, and they were not averse to including popular fiction in this repertoire of material. At times, these references might be oblique – certainly to a 21st-century reader – but sometimes the traces of the poet’s sources are more evident. This is certainly the case for Rimbaud’s ‘Le Bateau ivre’: it has long been argued that the imagery of the poem draws from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Seas; indeed, the first reference to a possible link in the critical literature dates back more than a century. Over the years, numerous critics have added to this intertextual inventory, to the point that it seems indisputable that Rimbaud made use of Verne’s text in his poem. But thinking beyond the individual images of ‘Le Bateau ivre’, the question remains of how deeply the poem engages with Twenty Thousand Leagues: did Rimbaud simply use it (more or less deliberately) as a stock of imagery, or did it have a more profound influence? To what extent did the thematic, conceptual, and ideological aspects of Verne’s novel play a role in shaping ‘Le Bateau ivre’?


To begin, it is worth noting some of the most important intertextual links established by critics. (For a more comprehensive survey, see Michel Lacroix’s article.1) Writing in 1930, A. R. Chisholm2 makes a case for a link in the very first line of the poem: the image of the sea’s ‘Fleuves impassibles’3 [‘impassive Rivers’]4 echoes the observation of Professor Aronnax (the novel’s narrator) that ‘La mer a ses fleuves comme les continents’5 [‘Like the continents, the sea has its rivers’]6. Similarly, the phrase ‘La circulation des sèves inouïes’ (R, p. 124, l. 39) [‘The circulation of unknown saps’] might reflect Captain Nemo’s assertion that the sea is a living being, an organism which has ‘ “une circulation aussi réelle que la circulation sanguine chez les animaux” ’ (20M, p. 134) [‘it has a circulation as real as the circulation of blood in animals’ (20T, p. 114)].7 Perhaps the most commonly accepted link, however, is in the image of the ‘Poème/ De la Mer, infusé d’astres et lactescent’ (R, p. 123, ll. 21-22) [‘Poem/ Of the Sea, infused with stars and lactescent’], which seems to have been taken from the description of the Nautilus navigating ‘au milieu d’une mer de lait’ [‘in the midst of milky white waves’], on an ocean which ‘semblait être lactifié’ [‘seemed lactified’], beneath ‘le rayonnement sidéral’ (20M, p. 210) [‘stellar radiation’ (20T, p. 174)].

Writing in 1954, Jacques-Henry Bornecque adds to the list of possible links, most notably through his hypothesis that Rimbaud’s bateau becomes an underwater vessel in the 18th line of the poem, when its ‘coque de sapin’ (R, p. 122) [‘hull of fir’] is penetrated.8 How else, he asks with some justification, can we explain the presence of the boat ‘sous les cheveux des anses’ (R, p. 125, l. 69) [‘lost in the foliage of caves’]? There is certainly a strong echo here of the 11th chapter of Twenty Thousand Leagues, in which the Nautilus crosses the Sargasso Sea.9 Equally convincing is the source that Bornecque suggests for lines 47-48, ‘Des arcs-en-ciel tendus comme des brides/ Sous l’horizon des mers, à de glauques troupeaux !’ (R, p. 124, ll. 47-48) [‘Rainbows stretched like bridal reins/ Under the horizon of the seas to greenish herds!’]. This appears to be a blend of two different passages: firstly, the reference made by Nemo to his ‘troupeaux [qui] paissent sans crainte les immenses prairies de l’Océan’ (20M, p. 72) [‘my herds [which] graze without fear on the ocean’s immense prairies’ (20T, p. 65)]; and secondly, the description of the underwater hunt that Nemo undertakes with Aronnax and Conseil, the latter’s servant:

Les rayons du soleil frappaient la surface des flots sous un angle assez oblique, et au contact de leur lumière décomposée par la réfraction comme à travers un prisme, fleurs, rochers, plantules, coquillages, polypes, se nuançaient sur leurs bords des sept couleurs du spectre solaire. C’était une merveille, une fête des yeux, que cet enchevêtrement de tons colorés, une véritable kaléidoscopie de vert, de jaune, d’orange, de violet, d’indigo, de bleu, en un mot, toute la palette d’un coloriste enragé ! (20M, p. 123)

[The sun’s rays hit the surface of the waves at a fairly oblique angle, decomposing by refraction as though passing through a prism; and when this light came in contact with flowers, rocks, buds, seashells, and polyps, the edges of these objects were shaded with all seven hues of the solar spectrum. This riot of rainbow tints was a wonder, a feast for the eyes: a genuine kaleidoscope of red, green, yellow, orange, violet, indigo, and blue; in short, the whole palette of a color-happy painter! (20T, pp. 104-5)]

This quotation elucidates the image of rainbows beneath the ocean surface (‘Sous l’horizon des mers’) in ‘Le Bateau ivre’, and thus seems to confirm the hypothesis of an underwater vessel.

Le Bateau Ivre by Rebecca Taber

As well as summing up all of the above arguments, Michel Lacroix adds further possible links. One of the most important relates to line 32, ‘Et j’ai vu quelquefois ce que l’homme a cru voir !’ (R, p. 123, l. 32) [‘at times I have seen what man thought he saw!’]. For Lacroix, this is an amalgamation of various phrases from Twenty Thousand Leagues: Nemo’s promise to Aronnax ‘ “vous verrez ce que n’a vu encore aucun homme” ’ [‘you’ll see what no human being has ever seen before’ (20T, p. 62)] (20M, p. 70); the warning offered by Ned Land (Aronnax’s other companion) that ‘ “nous voyons ici des choses que Dieu a voulu interdire aux regards de l’homme !” ’ [‘ “I think we’re looking at things God never intended for human eyes” ’ (20T, p. 297)] (20M, p. 363); and, finally, Aronnax’s plea ‘Je voudrais avoir vu ce que nul homme n’a vu encore, quand je devrais payer de ma vie cet insatiable besoin d’apprendre !’ (20M, p. 203) [‘I want to see what no man has seen yet, even if I must pay for this insatiable curiosity with my life!’ (20T, p. 167)].10 But Lacroix goes beyond the similarity of phrasing, noting also that the two texts ask a similar question: to what extent we have the right to see, and thus to know.11 We might go further still, looking at how the line from ‘Le Bateau ivre’ subtly but crucially alters the various phrases outlined above. Indeed, I will come back to this line, and to the theme of vision more generally, later on.

For the time being, I would like to note other approaches to the two texts that have focused more on thematic links – even if these tend to be much less common than approaches that favour what Steve Murphy refers to as the hunt for sources.12 Murphy is perhaps the most notable example of a critic who looks at the relationship between the texts systemically. Amongst other things, he highlights the importance to both texts of the theme of freedom: the journeys of both vessels raise ‘la question de la véritable liberté, de l’autonomie du bateau face aux forces déployées par la mer’ [‘the question of real liberty, of the boat’s autonomy in the face of the power of the sea’].13 Some of the aforementioned critics compare the texts along similar lines. Bornecque and Lacroix both highlight the fact that contrary to initial impressions, which suggest a strong divergence between the degree of control effected by Rimbaud’s bateau and the Nautilus, the two vessels are (at least sometimes) similar in their helplessness when faced with the ocean’s power.14 15 Perhaps the most famous comparison between the two texts, though, is that of Roland Barthes. Unlike Murphy et al, Barthes suggests that there is a diametric opposition between Rimbaud’s bateau and the Nautilus: the former is the embodiment of liberation and exploration; the latter represents enclosure.16 It is this supposed antithesis that will form the point of departure for my own comparative analysis of the two texts.

* * *

For Barthes, the underlying principle of Twenty Thousand Leagues is ‘le geste continu de l’enfermement’17 [‘the ceaseless action of secluding oneself’];18 paradoxically, the wide-ranging voyage that Verne imagines is one characterised by interiority, thanks to the nature of the Nautilus. This principle of claustration goes hand-in-hand with that of possession:

Le geste profond de Jules Verne, c'est donc, incontes­tablement, l'appropriation. L'image du bateau, si impor­tante dans la mythologie de Verne, n'y contredit nullement, bien au contraire : le bateau peut bien être symbole de départ : il est, plus profondément, chiffre de la clôture. Le goût du navire est toujours joie de s'enfermer parfaitement, de tenir sous sa main le plus grand nombre possible d'objets. De disposer d'un espace absolument fini : aimer les navires, c'est d'abord aimer une maison superlative, parce que close sans rémission, et nullement les grands départs vagues: le navire est un fait d'habitat avant d'être un moyen de transport. Or tous les bateaux de Jules Verne sont bien des « coins du feu » parfaits, et l'énormité de leur périple ajoute encore au bonheur de leur clôture, à la perfection de leur humanité intérieure. Le Nautilus est à cet égard la caverne adorable […].19

[The basic activity in Jules Verne, then, is unquestionably that of appropriation. The image of the ship, so important in his mythology, in no way contradicts this. Quite the contrary: the ship may well be a symbol for departure; it is, at a deeper level, the emblem of closure. An inclination for ships always means the joy of perfectly enclosing oneself, of having at hand the greatest possible number of objects, and having at one’s disposal an absolutely finite space. To like ships is first and foremost to like a house, a superlative one since it is unremittingly closed, and not at all vague sailings into the unknown: a ship is a habitat before being a means of transport. And sure enough, all the ships in Jules Verne are perfect cubby-holes, and the vastness of their circumnavigation further increases the bliss of their closure, the perfection of their inner humanity. The Nautilus, in this regard, is the most desirable of all caves […].]20

In this sense, while Nemo seems to represent an avatar of libertarian individualism for Verne,21 he is also perhaps the archetype of the bourgeois subject. The Nautilus is, after all, a sort of ‘maison superlative’ [‘superlative house’] that is ruled over by Nemo. It is the nec plus ultra of enclosedness, its very existence relying on it being impenetrable.


Moreover, it is, as Nemo explains, ‘ “un monde à part [qui est] aussi étranger à la terre que les planètes qui accompagnent ce globe autour du soleil” ’ (20M, p. 186) [‘This is a separate world. It’s as alien to the earth as the planets accompanying our globe around the sun” ’ (20T, p. 155)], since it barely has any communication with the terrestrial world. It is self-sufficient – and also inaccessible to outsiders, both visually (since it largely remains beneath the ocean surface) and epistemologically (since very little is known about it in the wider world). Its impenetrability, meanwhile, makes it almost completely safe – according to Nemo, at least, who states that ‘ “au-dessous et à bord du Nautilus, le cœur de l’homme n’a plus rien à redouter” ’ (20M, p. 95) [‘below the waves aboard the Nautilus, your heart never fails you!’ (20T, p. 83)]. The risks normally associated with maritime journeys – collision, fire, attack, storm, and so on – are essentially absent, in theory at least (20M, p. 95). Of course, in reality there are numerous episodes of extreme danger in the novel, such as the vessel being imprisoned beneath the Antarctic ice (Chapter 16) or being attacked by giant squid (Chapter 18).

Danger may not be absent from the story, but it is – at least – mitigated by the construction of the Nautilus. And Nemo’s control of the vessel is also crucial in this respect. For Barthes, it is this control that marks the Nautilus as the antithesis of Rimbaud’s bateau:

Dans cette mytholo­gie de la navigation, il n'y a qu'un moyen d'exorciser la nature possessive de l'homme sur le navire, c'est de suppri­mer l'homme et de laisser le navire seul : alors le bateau cesse d'être boîte, habitat, objet possédé ; il devient œil voyageur, frôleur d'infinis ; il produit sans cesse des départs. L'objet véritablement contraire au Nautilus de Verne, c'est le Bateau ivre de Rimbaud, le bateau qui dit « je » et, libéré de sa concavité, peut faire passer l'homme d'une psychanalyse de la caverne à une poétique véritable de l'exploration.22  

[In this mythology of seafaring, there is only one means to exorcize the possessive nature of the man on a ship ; it is to eliminate the man and to leave the ship on its own. The ship then is no longer a box, a habitat, an object that is owned; it becomes a travelling eye, which comes close to the infinite; it constantly begets departures. The object that is the true opposite of Verne’s Nautilus is Rimbaud’s Drunken Boat, the boat which says ‘I’ and, freed from its concavity, can make man proceed from a psycho-analysis of the cave to a genuine poetics of exploration.]23

The bateau ivre is, indeed, opposite in nature to the hermetic structure that is the Nautilus: ‘L’eau verte pénétra ma coque de sapin’ (R, p. 122, l. 18) [‘The green water penetrated my hull of fir’]. In this respect, Barthes is certainly right that Rimbaud’s bateau represents the opposite of enclosure: this is a vessel that has been ‘libéré de sa concavité’ [‘freed from its concavity’], the separation between its interior and the surrounding water having been breached. The boat is, of course, a metatextual image, the poet being immersed in the act of creation just as the boat is immersed in the sea: ‘Et dès lors, je me suis baigné dans le Poème/ De la Mer’ (R, p. 122, ll. 21-22) [‘And from then on I bathed in the Poem/ Of the Sea’]. This strongly suggests that, for Rimbaud, a certain loss of control lies at the heart of the creative process. However, most critics argue that this is merely one step in a longer process, and that the boat’s visionary voyage ends in European waters – which signifies a return to rational control.24

But as David Ducoffre has shown, this conclusion is debatable:

Non, le bateau n’est pas revenu en un port quelconque d’Europe, en se disant qu’il ne désire que rejoindre la ‘flache’. Il n’est pas revenu et, la mer rendue à l’immobilité, personne n’est allé le repêcher, en dépit de son impuissance physique de bateau à vivre par lui-même.25

[No, the boat didn’t return to some European port, stating that it only wants to be back in the ‘puddle’. It didn’t return, and with the sea stilled, no one went to retrieve it, despite the fact that as a boat, it is physically incapable of existing alone.]

In fact, the poem can be seen to bear witness to ‘un changement irréversible’ ['an irreversible change'],26 rather than a merely temporary alteration. For Ducoffre, the poem’s final quatrain shows that the boat cannot return to its former role of servitude.27 But if the abandonment of rationality signalled by ‘Le Bateau ivre’ is indeed definitive, it is – paradoxically – initiated by a rational process, as Murphy explains: ‘L’ouverture de (ou à) l’inconscient ne se fait pas ici d’une manière inconsciente’ [‘the opening of (or to) the unconscious does not take place in an unconscious fashion here’].28 This is underlined by the poem itself: ‘Les Fleuves m’ont laissé descendre où je voulais’ (R, p. 122, l. 8; my italics) [‘The Rivers let me go where I wanted’].


The idea of letting go that is implied by the boat’s immersion is thus, in fact, somewhat ambivalent: the dive into the depths of the unconscious is initiated by the conscious mind. Nonetheless, this abandonment seems antithetical to the absolute control that Nemo has over the Nautilus. There are certainly moments when this control is lost, for one reason or another, but such moments are exceptional. They are, moreover, very often motivated by Nemo’s state of mind, the most striking example perhaps being when he is plunged into depression by the death of a crew member:

Le capitaine Nemo rentra dans sa chambre, et je ne le vis plus pendant quelque temps. Mais qu’il devait être triste, désespéré, irrésolu, si j’en jugeais par ce navire dont il était l’âme et qui recevait toutes ses impressions ! Le Nautilus ne gardait plus de direction déterminée. Il allait, venait, flottait comme un cadavre au gré des lames. (20M, p. 397)

[Captain Nemo reentered his stateroom, and I saw no more of him for a good while. But how sad, despairing, and irresolute he must have felt, to judge from this ship whose soul he was, which reflected his every mood! The Nautilus no longer kept to a fixed heading. It drifted back and forth, riding with the waves like a corpse. (20T, p. 324)]

This aimless wandering is, in fact, the necessary counterpart to Nemo’s control: the direction of the Nautilus is determined not only by the willpower of the captain, but also by his emotions. In this sense, the Nautilus is indeed opposite to the bateau ivre, but not, perhaps, for the reason we might initially expect: the drifting of the submarine is provoked by a loss of rational control, while the drifting of Rimbaud’s boat is rationally motivated.

The emotional resonance of this drifting is also markedly different in the two texts. In Twenty Thousand Leagues, the lack of direction symbolises a state of depression or sadness, while in ‘Le Bateau ivre’ it signals a joyous freedom. The same distinction is evident in the use of imagery of death. When, in the above quotation, the Nautilus is described as floating ‘comme un cadavre’ [‘like a corpse’], it is an image of the captain’s grief at the actual death of a crew member; by contrast, in ‘Le Bateau ivre’, death is an image of blissful liberation. It is the death of the ‘haleurs’ [‘haulers’] that instigates the boat’s journey, and the drowned are described as ‘ravie’ (R, p. 123, l. 24) [‘elated’]. Most importantly, the immersed boat itself is described as a ‘carcasse ivre d’eau’ (R, p. 125, l. 72) [‘water-drunk carcass’] – a play on the double meaning of ‘carcasse’ as both ‘hulk’ and ‘corpse’ – but this image is far from gloomy: it is directly followed, at the start of the next stanza, by the word ‘Libre’ [‘Free’].

For Barthes, the Nautilus’s claustration is reinforced by the fact that it features a large viewing window: ‘la jouissance de l'enfermement atteint son paroxysme lorsque, du sein de cette intériorité sans fissure, il est possible de voir par une grande vitre le vague extérieur des eaux, et de définir ainsi dans un même geste l'intérieur par son contraire’29 [‘the enjoyment of being enclosed reaches its paroxysm when, from the bosom of this unbroken inwardness, it is possible to watch, through a large window-pane, the outside vagueness of the waters, and thus define, in a single act, the inside by means of its opposite’].30 This window is crucial to the novel, since much of the passengers’ time is spent observing the underwater world. And it is this visual pleasure that Nemo promises to Aronnax and his colleagues when they first come aboard:

“Vous avez poussé votre œuvre aussi loin que vous le permettait la science terrestre. Mais vous ne savez pas tout, vous n’avez pas tout vu. […] Vous allez voyager dans le pays des merveilles. L’étonnement, la stupéfaction seront probablement l’état habituel de votre esprit. Vous ne vous blaserez pas facilement sur le spectacle incessamment offert à vos yeux. […] À partir de ce jour, vous entrez dans un nouvel élément, vous verrez ce que n’a vu encore aucun homme, — car moi et les miens nous ne comptons plus, — et notre planète, grâce à moi, va vous livrer ses derniers secrets.” (20M, p. 70)

[“You’ve taken your studies as far as terrestrial science can go. But you don’t know everything because you haven’t seen everything. Let me tell you, professor, you won’t regret the time you spend aboard my vessel. You’re going to voyage through a land of wonders. Stunned amazement will probably be your habitual state of mind. It will be a long while before you tire of the sights constantly before your eyes. [...] Starting this very day, you’ll enter a new element, you’ll see what no human being has ever seen before—since my men and I no longer count—and thanks to me, you’re going to learn the ultimate secrets of our planet.” (20T, p. 63)]


Here, the lexis is characterised by a sense of wonder (‘merveilles’, ‘étonnement’, ‘stupéfaction’, ‘spectacle’), and despite the fact that Aronnax is a scientist, his account of life on board the Nautilus is far from objective, instead constantly emphasising the pleasure of the spectacle. But this pleasure is underwritten by the lack of freedom that Nemo has imposed on him and his fellows. When Ned raises the idea of trying to escape from the vessel, this trade-off is made clear by Aronnax:

Je ne voulais en aucune façon entraver la liberté de mes compagnons, et cependant je n’éprouvais nul désir de quitter le capitaine Nemo. Grâce à lui, grâce à son appareil, je complétais chaque jour mes études sous-marines, et je refaisais mon livre des fonds sous-marins au milieu même de son élément. (20M, p. 257)

[I didn’t want to restrict my companions’ freedom in any way, and yet I had no desire to leave Captain Nemo. Thanks to him and his submersible, I was finishing my undersea research by the day, and I was rewriting my book on the great ocean depths in the midst of its very element. (20T, p. 211)]

For Aronnax, freedom and knowledge are irreconcilable: he is torn between ‘le désir de rentrer en possession de mon libre arbitre et le regret d’abandonner ce merveilleux Nautilus, laissant inachevées mes études sous-marines !’ (20M, p. 279) [‘my desire to regain my free will and my regret at abandoning this marvelous Nautilus, leaving my underwater research incomplete!’ (20T, p. 230)].

By contrast, the visions related in ‘Le Bateau ivre’ (‘Glaciers, soleils d'argent, flots nacreux, cieux de braises !’ (R, p. 124, l. 53) [‘Glaciers, suns of silver, nacreous waves, skies of embers!’], for example) are the direct result of the boat’s freedom. The repetition of ‘J’ai vu’ that dominates the poem is introduced by the line ‘Et j’ai vu quelquefois ce que l’homme a cru voir’ (R, p. 123, l. 32) [‘And at times I have seen what man thought he saw!’], which – as I mentioned above – has been the subject of much discussion as to possible sources in Twenty Thousand Leagues. One of these sources is particularly pertinent: the warning offered by Ned, ‘ “je pense que nous voyons ici des choses que Dieu a voulu interdire aux regards de l’homme !” ’ (20M, p. 363) [‘ “I think we’re looking at things God never intended for human eyes” ’ (20T, p. 297)], since, as Murphy points out, the poem is a kind of Promethean adventure, ‘une allégorie du destin du Voyant’ [‘an allegory of the destiny of the Seer’] who declares himself to be a ‘voleur de feu’ [‘thief of fire’] (R, p. 91).31 But in ‘Le Bateau ivre’, Rimbaud makes a crucial addition to this source, and to the other possible sources: that is, the opposition between j’ai vu’ and ‘l’homme a cru voir’. The poem thus draws a distinction between direct perception and mediated, uncertain belief. Again, then, it offers a kind of manifesto for visionary poetry.

Despite the many points of contrast between the texts, ‘Le Bateau ivre’ echoes the great innovation of Twenty Thousand Leagues: the idea that the underwater domain might be a source of fascination as well as fear. Until Verne, literature tended to portray the depths of the ocean as a zone of terrifying monsters, and while there are certainly fearsome beasts in Twenty Thousand Leagues, the novel is dominated by a sense of wonder at the richness of sub-aquatic life. Rimbaud’s poem is characterised by a similar sense of wonder. And if we read the poem as a meta-poetic statement that preaches immersion in the unconscious mind, then a further innovation comes to the fore: in an era when psychologists and psychiatrists saw the unconscious as primarily pathological, Rimbaud shows us the dazzling range of its creative possibilities.


Sam Bootle
Associate Professor at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at Durham University

This blog is adapted from Sam Bootle's article, ‘Plongée poétique: Rimbaud, Laforgue, et Vingt mille lieues sous les mers’, Parade sauvage, No. 29 (March 2019), 133-153 which is used with the permission of the editors as the basis for this blog

Except where indicated, images are by Alphonse de Neuville and Edouard Riou, and are taken from the first edition of Verne's novel.


1 Michel Lacroix, ‘Présence et influence de Vingt mille lieues sous les mers dans l’œuvre poétique de Rimbaud’, Bulletin de la Société Jules Verne, 148 (2003), p. 7.

2 A. R. Chisholm, ‘Sources and structure of Rimbaud’s “Bateau ivre”’, The French Quarterly, XII: 1, March 1930, p. 43.

3 Arthur Rimbaud, Poésies, Une saison en enfer, Illuminations, ed. Louis Forestier (Paris: Gallimard, 1999), p. 122, l. 1. Future references will be indicated in-text as ‘R’.

4 Arthur Rimbaud, ‘The Drunken Boat’, from Complete Works, Selected Letters, trans. Wallace Fowlie (The University of Chicago Press, 2005). Retrieved April 9, 2021, from All translations of the poem will be from this source and will be in square brackets following the original.

5 Jules Verne, Vingt mille lieues sous les mers : tour du monde sous-marin (Paris: Hetzel, 1870), p. 101. Future references will be indicated in-text as ‘20M’.

6 Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas: An Underwater Tour of the World, trans. F. P Walter (Urbana, Illinois: Project Gutenberg, 1999), p. 87. Retrieved April 9, 2021, from Future references will be indicated in-text as ‘20T’.

7 Chisholm, p. 45.

8 Jacques-Henry Bornecque, ‘Le sous-marin ivre de Rimbaud’, Revue des Sciences humaines, 73, Jan-Mar 1954, p. 60.

9 Ibid., p. 61.

10 Lacroix, p. 21.

11 Ibid.

12 Steve Murphy, ‘Logiques du Bateau ivre’, Rimbaud dans le texte—nspécial de Littératures 54, 2006, p. 26.

13 Ibid. The translation is my own.

14 Bornecque, p. 62.

15 Lacroix, p. 34.

16 Roland Barthes, Mythologies (Paris: Seuil, 1957), pp. 80-82.

17 Barthes, p. 80.

18 Roland Barthes, Mythologies, trans. Annette Lavers (New York: The Noonday Press, 1972), p. 65.

19 Barthes, p. 82.

20 Barthes, trans. Lavers, pp. 66-67.

21 Jean Chesneaux, Jules Verne. Une lecture politique (Paris: Maspero, 1982), p. 86.

22 Barthes, p. 82.

23 Barthes, trans. Lavers, p. 67.

24 See, for example, David Evans, Rhythm, Illusion, and the Poetic Idea: Baudelaire, Rimbaud, Mallarmé (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2007), p. 157, and Susan Harrow, The Material, the Real, and the Fractured Self: Subjectivity and Representation from Rimbaud to Réda (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), p. 147.

25 David Ducoffre, ‘Trajectoire du “Bateau Ivre”’, Parade sauvage 21, 2006, p. 32. (The translation that follows is my own.)

26 Ducoffre, p. 38.

27 Ibid., p. 37.

28 Murphy, p. 34. (My translation.)

29 Barthes, p. 82.

30 Barthes, trans. Lavers, p. 67.

31 Murphy, p. 43.

Posted on:Tuesday 13th April, 2021