(Neo)platonic thought in Saint John of the Cross and Stéphane Mallarmé

Felix K.E. Schmelzer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Conceived as the outline of a more detailed comparison, the present work aims to contribute to a better understanding of the similarities between Christian mysticism and modern lyrical poetry through a concrete comparison between Saint John of the Cross and Stéphane Mallarmé, focusing on four common (neo) Platonic ideas that determine their thought and poetry: first, both regard themselves as a mere medium through which an absolute spirit expresses itself; second, the deconstruction of language plays a central role in their work; third, both authors circle around the idea of a purification of the soul; last but not least, the idea which lies at the core of their work seems to be true self-recognition, that is, a self-contemplation of the individual soul that leads to a self-contemplation of the divine within ourselves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-523
Number of pages19
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Instituto de Estudios Auriseculares (IDEA). All rights reserved.


  • (Neo)Platonic thought
  • Literature studies
  • Modern poetry and christian mysticism
  • Religion
  • Saint John of the cross
  • Stéphane mallarmé


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