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Collected French Translations: Prose

John Ashbery

Cover of John Ashbery's Collected French Translations: Prose
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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 847772 35 0
Categories: 20th Century, 21st Century, American, French, Gay and Lesbian, Translation
Imprint: Carcanet Fiction
Published: April 2014
234 x 156 x 19 mm
362 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • John Ashbery is known as America’s foremost poet, but his prose writing and his engagement with prose writers – through translations, essays and criticism – have had a profound impact on the cultural landscape of the past half-century. This book, the companion volume to Collected French Translations: Poetry, presents his version of the classic French fairytale ‘The White Cat’ by Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, alongside works by innovative masters such as Raymond Roussel and Giorgio de Chirico. Here are Roussel’s Documents to Serve as an Outline and extracts from his Impressions of Africa; selections from Georges Bataille’s darkly erotic novella L’Abbé C; Antonin Artaud’s correspondence with Jacques Rivière; Salvador Dalí on Willem de Kooning; Jacques Dupin on Alberto Giacometti; and key theoretical texts by Odilon Redon and others.

    Several of these twenty-eight prose pieces, by seventeen writers, artists, musicians and critics, are previously unpublished or have been long unavailable. Many, such as Pierre Reverdy’s Haunted House, are modern classics. This book provides new insight into the range of French cultural influences on John Ashbery’s life and work in literature and the arts.
    John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, in 1927. His books of poetry include Breezeway ; Quick Question ; Planisphere ; Notes from the Air: Selected Later Poems, which was awarded the 2008 International Griffin Poetry Prize; A Worldly Country ; Where Shall I Wander ; and Self-Portrait in ... read more
    Awards won by John Ashbery Winner, 1997  Gold Medal for Poetry Winner, 2001 Wallace Stevens Award Winner, 1995 Robert Frost Medal Winner, 1976 National Book Critics Circle Award (Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror) Winner, 1976 National Book Award (Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror) Winner, 1976 Pulitzer Award (Self Portrait in a Convex Mirror)
    Praise for John Ashbery 'John Ashbery's final collection of poetry disguises itself well as a mid-career high. The energy and modernity of his strange little worlds tell nothing of his age.'
    Stand Magazine


      'More than a century after Arthur Rimbaud composed his Illuminations they are reborn in John Ashbery's magnificent translation. It is fitting that the major American poet since Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens should give us this noble version of the precursor of all three.'
    Harold Bloom
    'A fine collection of poems rooted in 21st-century America.'
    Robert McCrum, The Observer
      'More than a century after Arthur Rimbaud composed his Illuminations they are reborn in John Ashbery's magnificent translation. It is fitting that the major American poet since Hart Crane and Wallace Stevens should give us this noble version of the precursor of all three.'
    Harold Bloom
    'Quick Question, with the hushed intensity of its music and great lyric beauty, could only be Ashbery.'
    Ian Thomson, Financial Times
     The book invites the reader to poetic gluttony. It serves as a corrective to the monoglot provincialism by which the Anglophone world is still bedevilled.
    Sean O'Brien, Independent
     'The lyrics in Breezeway, a new collection by the octogenarian poet John Ashbery are as good as his finest. I especially like the final poem, poignantly reprising the last line of Keats' Ode to a Nightingale', "Do I wake or sleep?"'
    Salley Vickers, The Observer - The New Review, 29.11.2015.
      'John Ashbery's Collected Poems 1956-1987, edited by Mark Ford (Carcanet), was a book I found inexhaustible. Possibly the greatest living English-speaking poet and one of the most prolific, Ashbery takes language to its limits, so that words serve as pointers to shifting experiences that elude description. Containing his masterpiece 'Self-Portrait In A Convex Mirror', one of the most penetrating 20th-century meditations on what it means to be human, this collection succeeded in stirring my thoughts as well as delighting me.'
    John Gray The Guardian Books Of The Year 2010
       'The careering, centrifugal side of Girls on the Run is one of its most effective tools in creating its special ainbience of good-humoured menace ... Ashbery has made the slush of signification, the realm where words slip, slide, perish and decay, uniquely his own.'
    David Wheatley, Times Literary Supplement, 30 June, 2000
       'In his seventies John Ashbery offers a sprightly and energetic alternative. Instead of being sluggish he demands that the self must be even more alert, more vigilant, more attentive to the world around it, not indifferent to and weary of it. Alert, vigilant, attentive ... Wakefulness, the brilliantly evocative title of Ashbery's collection.'
    Stephen Matterson, 'The Capacious Art of Poetry,' Poetry Ireland Review 62, 114
        'The Mooring of Starting Out is filled with illustrations glimpsed through luminous, funny, formidably intelligent and often heartbreaking poems.'
    Andrew Zawacki, 'A wave of music,' Times Literary Supplement, 12 June, 1998
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