Mags Harnett

Mags pic copyMags Harnett is an Irish artist. She read French and German at Trinity College Dublin before going on to study Fine Art at l’Ecole Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Tours, in France.  She won first prize for Lettering and Calligraphy in the RDS National Crafts Award in 2013 for her ‘A Thousand Words’ series. Her last series, Scribe 2 Scribe, based on the Book of Kells, was at shown the Alliance Française Dublin and the Trinity Long Room Hub in 2014.



‘Let me come into your story’ is David Scott’s English translation of the sonnet ‘M’introduire dans ton histoire’ by Stéphane Mallarmé.

Commenting on Mallarmé’s writing process, Sert Misia wrote;

De temps en temps il tirait d’une de ses poches une petite fiche, notait un ou deux mots, l’enfouissait dans une autre poche…les fiches allaient s’entasser sous un des presse-papiers de sa table de travail[1]. A key element to our understanding of his poetry is that he chose the words for his poems, not only for their sound or meaning, but just as importantly for their calligraphy, for their physical form on the page and for the white space left around the form.[2]

With all this in mind I have put the sonnet and its translation on to 52 ‘fiches’ each in the form of a card and each bearing a word or two of the poem, the whole forming a deck of playing cards (a clin d’oeil of course to the notion of chance and language in Mallarmé’s work ‘Un Coup de Dès Jamais N’Abolira Le Hasard’). The cards are all written in my own handwriting. The piece was done in collaboration with David.

[1] Daniel Abel, Stéphane Mallarmé: Verticalité horizontalité, deux dynamiques de mouvance (Bern : Peter Lang, 2004), 12.

[2] Brigitte Léon-Dufour, Mallarmé et L’Alphabet (Paris : Cahiers de L’Association internationale des études francaises, 1974), 321-343.

Primary sources:

Stéphane Mallarmé, ‘M’introduire dans ton histoire,’ in Mallarmé : Poésies et autres textes (Paris : Librairie Générale Française, 2005), 233.

David Scott, ‘Let me come into your story,’ in Stéphane Mallarmé, Mallarmé Sonnets, trans. David Scott (Bristol: Shearsman, 2008), 111.

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Mags HarnettAlex Bradley