Skip to main content

Arts & Societies - Richard Stamelman

Richard Stamelman, a former professor of French and Comparative Literature at Wesleyan University and Williams College, is a specialist in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century French Poetry. He has authored studies on Charles Baudelaire, Guillaume Apollinaire, André Breton, Pierre Jean Jouve, Francis Ponge, Philippe Jaccottet, Yves Bonnefoy, Edmond Jabès, Alberto Giacometti, and Claude Garache, among other French poets and artists. He is also the author of Drama of Self in Guillaume Apollinaire’s “Alcools”; Lost beyond Telling: Representations of Death and Absence in Modern French Poetry; Perfume: Joy, Obsession, Scandal, Sin; A Cultural History of Fragrance from 1750 to the Present; and editor of Yves Bonnefoy, The Lure and the Truth of Painting. Selected Essays on Art. He is a knight of the French Order of the Academic Palms.

Arts & Societies - Richard Stamelman


Richard Stamelman, "'L'Objeu' and 'L'Objoie' in a Perfume Bottle", Arts and Societies n°112, June 12, 2019

A question is being raised more and more often these days: How far must one go to know a thing? Is one to open it up to the point of imagining that one can touch its “essence” or else, on the contrary, is it better to remain on the surface while investigating its most superficial traits? In a study of perfume bottles, Richard Stamelman recalls the major role played by Francis Ponge, who forged new words in order to reinvent one’s attention to things: the objeu (the object-game) and the objoie (the ob-joy). He, too, gazes at objects with curiosity: all those bottles that attract our attention in the name of a promise of content that remains secondary.

Laurence Bertrand Dorléac.