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Out of a wide acquaintance with modern French poetry and poets, these two authors, one a poet herself, the other a philosopher, discuss the place of poetry as a distinctive human activity in relation to other generic human functions such as scientific knowledge, mystical experience, and magic, or the attempt to use knowledge as a source of occult power. The authors seek to show the significance of the unique discoveries of modern poetic experience for the progressive development of poetry itself and of the human spirit, as well as the peculiar dangers those discoveries bring with them. Their work is marked by a sensitive appreciation of even the most unorthodox attempts of modern poetry, viewed in the light of a consistent and sturdy philosophical apparatus.