Max Nänny Prize 2008 Anna Arnar

Anna Arnar (Minnesota State University, Moorhead), “’A Modern Popular Poem’: Stéphane Mallarmé on the Visual, Rhetorical and Democratic Potentials of the fin-de-siècle Newspaper,” Word & Image 22.4 (2006).

The selection committee wrote:

In choosing this article for the prize, the selection committee commended the originality and cogency of its argument, the depth breadth of issues it calls into play. All these qualities make it an outstanding example of work in word and image studies, of a kind that both breaks new ground and opens up avenues for further research. In her article, Professor Arnar studies Mallarmé’s reflection on the newspaper as a catalyst for new habits of reading associated with a modern, democratic society. In this way, she argues, Mallarmé seeks to reclaim for poetry a public reached via the mass media. Crucially, her investigation turns on the relationship of word and image,for, as she demonstrates, Mallarmé conceived of the newspaper  as a structured space organized according to formal principles; this makes it a kind of “modern popular poem” which bears upon his most innovative poetic practices, notably his “Un Coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard.” Combining rigorous historicization, close readings of text and image, and theoretical reflection grounded in the works, this article, the selection committee found, constitutes a study that, in their judgment, represents the intellectual and scholarly ideals of the Association and the true spirit of the Nänny prize.

Honorable mentions went to:
– Katalin Orbán, “Trauma and Visuality: Art Spiegelman’s Maus
and In the Shadow of No Towers,” Representations 97 (Winter
– Stefano Riccioni, “Segni epigrafici e sistemi illustrativi ‘alla
greca’ nel mosaico di San Clemente a Roma,” in Arturo Carlo
Quintavalle, Medioevo mediterraneo: l’Occidente, Bisanzio e
l’Islam (Milano: Electa, 2007).