Thomas C. Connolly

Thomas C. Connolly obtained his BA in Modern Languages from the University of Oxford. He spent three years at the École normale supérieure (Ulm) as ‘élève de la Sélection internationale,’ and completed a ‘Maîtrise’ and a ‘DEA’ at the Université de Paris IV–La Sorbonne. He received a PhD in Comparative Literature from Harvard University in 2012.

Thomas’s research interests include nineteenth- and twentieth-century French, Francophone, and German poetry, with emphasis on the prose poem, ekphrasis, and, more broadly, how literature relates to the visual arts. He was the guest editor of a double issue of Yale French Studies 137-138 (2020) entitled ‘North African Poetry in French.’ His current book project, After the Image, examines the interrelations of modern poetry and the visual arts in the Francophone Maghreb. He is also the author of Paul Celan’s Unfinished Poetics: Readings in the Sous-Oeuvre (Cambridge: MHRA/Legenda, 2018 [hardback] / 2019 [paperback]

Selected Articles:

“Primitive Passions, Blinding Visions: Arthur Rimbaud’s ‘Mystique’ and a Tradition of Mystical Ekphrasis.” PMLA 132.1 (2017): 101-118. [Awarded the Fifty-Fourth Annual William Riley Parker Prize for an Outstanding Article in PMLA, Modern Language Association, 2017].

“Translating the Night: On Paul Celan and Fragment 178 of René Char’s Feuillets d’Hypnos.” Celan at 100 – A Companion, ed. Michael Eskin, Karen Leeder, and Marko Pajevic (De Gruyter, 2021): 57-77.

“Paul Celan’s Other Tongue: David Rokeah, Hebrew, and the Problem of Bilingualism.” Forthcoming in Zäsuren / Caesurae. Paul Celans Spätwerk / Paul Celan’s Later Work, ed. Chiara Caradonna and Vivian Liska (Wallstein, 2021).

“Rembrandt, Mandelstam, et les limites de l’ekphrasis,” in Paul Celan, ed. Bertrand Badiou, Clément Fradin, and Werner Wögerbauer (Paris: Éditions de l’Herne, 2020): 179-186.

““Keine Schönschrift für Schulkinder”: Towards a Poetics of the Pre-Text in Paul Celan’s Eingedunkelt.” Compar(a)ison (2013 [2017]): 107-130.

“Incipit. On Mallarmé’s ‘Crise de vers’,” with Liesl Yamaguchi. Forthcoming in Nineteenth-Century French Studies 50.1-2 (2021).

“Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine’s Secret Music.” Forthcoming in Sounds Senses, ed. Yasser Elhariry (Liverpool UP, 2021): 79-97.

“Corporeal Fantasies, False Bodies: Ways of Seeing in Abdelwahab Meddeb’s PhantasiaExpressions maghrébines 19.2 (2020): 135-155.

“Editor’s Preface: Prelude to North African Poetry in French.” Yale French Studies 137-138 (2020): 1-10.

“Orpheus, pied-noir: Sartre, Sénac, and the Poetics of Algerian Becoming” in Manuela Consonni and Vivian Liska (ed.), Sartre, Jews and the Other: Rethinking Antisemitism, Race, and Gender (De Gruyter, 2020): 227-242.

“Fleurs arctiques: ‘Barbare’ à la lumière d’Ovide.” Parade sauvage: revue internationale d’études rimbaldiennes 30 (2019): 169-189.

“Rimbaud islamique? Le vertige artificiel de ‘Fleurs’.” Parade sauvage: revue internationale d’études rimbaldiennes 29 (2018): 199-218.

“Walking in Colour: Another Look at Musical Ekphrasis through Marc Chagall’s Jerusalem Windows.” Mosaic 51.1 (2018): 161-178.

‘Baroque et belle’: Dirty Prose, Photos, and Other Subtle Secrets in Mallarmé’s ‘Le Nénuphar blanc’.” Romanic Review 108.1-2 (2018): 233-252.

“Berber Spider: Tahar Djaout, Arachne, and the Afterlife of Oral Poetics.” MLN 133.4 (2018): 1099-1122.

“‘Splendides et salomoniques’: On Temples in Mallarmé.” French Studies Bulletin 37.1 (2016): 1-3.

“Baudelaire the Frequent Flyer: Prostitution, the Press, and How the Prose Poem Almost Sold its Soul.” Romance Notes 55.3 (2015): 463-474. 

“Oils, Psalms, and Scum: Anadyomene Paint and the Limits of Ekphrasis in Paul Celan’s ‘Einkanter: Rembrandt’.” Modern Philology 111.4 (2014): 841-861.

Selected Reviews:

“Robert St. Clair, Poetry, Politics & the Body in Rimbaud: Lyrical Material. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018” and “Seth Whidden, Arthur Rimbaud. London: Reaktion Books, 2018” in French Forum 44.3 (2019): 456-465.

“Ludmila Charles-Wurtz and Judith Wulf (ed.), Lectures des Contemplations. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2016” in Nineteenth-Century French Studies 46.3-4 (2018).

“Daniel Albright, Putting Modernism Together: Literature, Music, and Painting 1872-1927. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015” in Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature 41.2 (2017).

“Dominique Billy, Les Formes poétiques selon Baudelaire. Paris: Honoré Champion, 2015” in Nineteenth-Century French Studies 45.3-4 (2017).

Courses include:

French Poetry and the Invention of Modern Life (Fren 092)

Modern French Poetry (Fren 236)

Mad Poets (Fren 270 / Litr 284)

The Prose Poem (Fren 345)

Ekphrasis (Fren 347 / Hsar 280)

North African French Poetry (Fren 425)

The Prose Poem (Fren 880) (graduate)

Modern French Poetry in the Maghreb (Fren 885) (graduate)

Stéphane Mallarmé (Fren 911) (graduate)