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Edited by Anthony Rudolf, John Naughton and Stephen Romer
Translated by Anthony Rudolf, John Naughton and Stephen Romer
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
ISBN: 978 1 784100 75 9
Categories: 20th Century, French, Translation
Published: October 2017
216 x 135 x 27 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
France’s greatest poet of the last half century, Yves Bonnefoy wrote many books of poetry and poetic prose, as well as celebrated critical essays on literature and art (to which a second volume will be devoted). At his death in 2016 aged ninety-three, he was Emeritus Professor of Comparative Poetics at the Collège de France. The selection for this volume (and the second one) was made in close collaboration with the poet. The lengthy introduction by John Naughton is a significant assessment of Bonnefoy’s importance in French literature.
Bonnefoy started out as a young surrealist poet at the end of the Second World War and, for seven decades, he produced poetry and prose of great, and changing, depth and richness. In his lines we encounter ‘the horizon of a voice where stars are falling, / Moon merging with the chaos of the dead’. Fellow poet Philippe Jaccottet spoke of his abiding gravité enflammée.
Bonnefoy knew what translation demands, having himself translated Shakespeare, Donne, Yeats, and Keats; Petrarch and Leopardi from Italian; and, from Greek, George Seferis. This volume is edited and translated by three of Bonnefoy’s long-time translators –Anthony Rudolf, John Naughton, and Stephen Romer – with contributions from Galway Kinnell, Richard Pevear, Beverley Bie Brahic, Emily Grosholz, Susanna Lang, and Hoyt Rogers.
Praise for Anthony Rudolf 'For Rudolf, writing and painting especially, but also music, are exploratory tools that enable him to probe more deeply into his own self, his relationships, as well as all those other selves that are not ''himself.'' For he is obviously also par excellence a poet and an intellectual attracted to otherness, to what he is not.'
'Every poem like a new geometry - of surprises. A strange voice of cat's cradles in a Kafkaesque half-light - very strange and unpredictable.'
Ted Hughes Praise for Stephen Romer 'A characteristic blend of self-examination and what feels like a classically trained sense of beauty, clarity and proportion. There is something Bergman-esque about Romer's work.'
'Stephen Romer has achieved a breakthrough in these new poems. The death of his father has torn away a veil, releasing a fresh energy and vision.'
Hugo Williams 'If Tribute is haunted by aphasia, exile and the loss of continuity, those fears are shadows that give body to the essences more insistently dwelt upon, and these are apprehended with a depth of spiritual resource that is almost mystical.'
Clive Wilmer on Tribute, in Times Literary Supplement 'Austerely eloquent treatments of lost love and the complexities of family are juxtaposed with reflections on art and poetry - exactly the civilised range of interests that might strike fear into the incurious. Readers open to Romer's scrupulous, passionate music and the conversational intimacy of his address will gather rich rewards, however.'
Sean O'Brien, Culture, 11 January 2009
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