A la dérive: Drifting In and Out of Form in French Literature and Visual Art from Bataille to Bergvall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter explores the complex and fluid relationship between form and formlessness through a range of literary and visual works. Georges Bataille's definition of the formless (informe) in the dissident Surrealist journal Documents (1929) provides the starting point for a trajectory that encompasses the dissolution of language in Lettrism, the dystopian art of Tetsumi Kudo and the powerful intermedia work of contemporary poet Caroline Bergvall.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWhat Forms Can Do
Subtitle of host publicationThe Work of Form in 20th- and 21st- Century French Literature and Thought
EditorsPatrick Crowley, Shirley Jordan
Place of PublicationLiverpool
PublisherLiverpool University Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-1-789-62065-8
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020


  • French literature
  • French visual arts
  • French poetry
  • Georges Bataille
  • Roland Barthes
  • Bernard Réquichot
  • Tetsumi Kudo
  • Caroline Bergvall
  • Documents 1929-30

Cite this