Literary Democracy in The Songs of Maldoror

Document Type : Research Paper


1 French language and literature, Humanities faculty, Bou-Ali Sina University, Hamadan, Iran.

2 English language and literature department; Foreign languages faculty, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran,


A contemporary French philosopher, Jacques Rancière, believes that literary democracy originated in the nineteenth century, especially in connection with the novel genre. This study studies this concept in The Songs of Maldoror, one of the poetry books in the second half of Nineteen Century, relying on the definition of democracy by some contemporary philosophers. The study shows that this text topples down what types of notions, highlight and bold which ones and what are the consequences. In fact, this text can be a clear example of a democratic literary text that ends the power of many ideas of the literature of the "elite" minority, and it starts a new literary plan. Dialogue becomes the fundamental notion of this modern text, and it delineates between literary genres, on the one hand, and the common and elite literature, on the other hand. The Songs of Maldoror needs an active reading without any previous horizon of expectation.


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