Antoine Poulin
PhD Mathematics
BLUE Fellow
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Winter
2023
Exploring mathematical models to detect the sublime in poetry
BLUE Fellow
Winter
2023

Background

Antoine Poulin, a PhD student in mathematical logic, and Ève-Marie, an undergraduate student in French literature, met in CÉGEP a few years ago. Their path diverged but they kept on sharing similar interests such as creative writing. They now both are part of the executive team of the Collectif de poésie francophone at McGill.

Recently, as Ève-Marie was doing research on Marie Uguay, a modern French-Canadian poet, they started questioning the idea that fragmentation could open on the « [infinity of discoveries] » (Marie Uguay, Journal, 2005, p. 203). For this project, they chose to focus on the idea of infinity in the interpretation of poetry. How can words be transferred in a mathematical language as to construct a model for detecting the sublime in a poem? Are there definable aspects of the poem which correspond to such things as dimensions, complexity, entropy, etc.? What pressure do the expectations of a reader in front of a given text exert on the words that constitute the text?

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