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Edited by Stephen Romer and Anthony Rudolf
ISBN: 978 1 784108 11 3
Categories: 20th Century, French, Language, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Classics
Published: April 2020
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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Yves Bonnefoy (1923–2016), a major poet, was equally a seminal essayist and thinker. This second and final volume of the Yves Bonnefoy Reader, contains what he regarded as his foundational essays, as well as a generous selection of essays from all periods translated into English for the first time. Subjects include comparative French and English poetics, Shakespeare's theatre, the paintings of Piero della Francesca and Poussin, the sculpture of Bernini, Mozart's operas, a re-assessment of Rimbaud, the impact of photography on art, and much more. The range is broad, but the metaphysical challenge is the same: to affirm presence, and finitude, against all forms of life-sapping conceptual thought. Language may have become suspect, but these essays affirm the 'project of hope' that was Bonnefoy's from the outset.
A range of translators contributes, from the editors whose work on Bonnefoy is celebrated and of long standing, to Iain Bamforth, Michael Bishop, Hilary Davies, Jennie Feldman, Emily Grosholz, Mark Hutchinson, Steven Jaron, Viviane Lowe, Hoyt Rogers, John Taylor and Ahren Warner.
Praise for Yves Bonnefoy 'Throughout this lovely volume, Bonnefoy emerges as a person of huge and searching empathies, whose lifelong quest was towards a larger truth.'
Ian Pople, the North
'Although his early surrealisms might have allowed him to explore his unconscious, the 'conscious' that these later poems explore seems warmer, more carefree.'
Ian Pople, the North
'The editors and translators have done a wonderful job in the selection and simplicity of the selections. This is a book to appeal to both admirers of Bonnefoy's work and the general reader who is looking toward engaging with a lifetime of poetic output.'
Andrew Taylor, Stride Magazine
Praise for Stephen Romer 'Stasis is the great enemy of a mind as active as Romer's and his poems are often a means of avoiding it, except when by some conjuring trick they attempt to arrest time... This is a book of elegant benedictions that allow for ecstasy and its opposite, and are fitting, memorable companions for either.'
Declan Ryan, TLS
'Reading Romer's poetry will leave you with a sense of calm and clarity because this long serving poet has developed a technical control that allows even for mysticism without rattling the bodily cage too much'
Claire Crowther, Magma
'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 Praise for Anthony Rudolf 'His poems are charged with the love of beauty: in paint, in the poetry he admires, and in women. His longing is almost impersonal in its intensity.'
Elaine Feinstein, JQ
'It moves us through time and space to the long view of a life's work...European Hours is an open book of secrets, and the remarkable intimacy Rudolf has spun through it that binds the reader to the poems.'
Paul Pines, American Book Review
'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.'
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