For French writer Pierre-Albert Jourdan, paradox and its close kin aphorism were ways to approach the ineffable, the infinite, the immanent, and above all the state of unity between self and world that he devotedly, passionately sought.
Philppe Jaccottet is one of Europe’s most prolific and distinguished poets. This tome comprises selections from his later works, the bulk of which are prose poems whose urgency reflect a heightened awareness of death.
For everyone who feels the attraction but lacks the study, THE WORD EXCHANGE is a huge gift. It’s the most generous sampling I’ve seen of poetry translated from Old English and collected in one volume.
If the verse in UNSEEN HAND refuses triumphant fictions, there is an attentive, persevering dignity in its preference for seriality. Because these recurring poems recreate our being in the world, they are powerful tools for returning to it.
In the future, when a literary historian looks at the long-forgotten Lilly Prize and wonders what did its selection panels get right, it will be recognized that it had been sensitive and intelligent enough to realize the beauty of David Ferry’s poetry, an oeuvre which is sure to grow in stature. By Daniel Bosch. In […]
Set in the beginning of the “Dirty War” of Jorge Rafael Videla’s military junta in Argentina, a period characterized by assassination and disappearance, “Kamchatka” is a superb novel that refracts public, political events through the sensibilities of everyday life. Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras. Translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne. Black Kat, Grove/Atlantic, 311 pages […]
Norman Shapiro’s enthusiasm as a translator is felt not only in the versions themselves but also in his introduction and notes. He relishes finding equivalents for Jacques Prévert’s rhyming, which induces him to take some justifiable liberties in regard to the original. The volume is a true labor of love. Préversities: A Jacques Prévert Sampler […]
Poetry’s secret, it seems to me, consists of two ingredients: a love of this world and a curiosity about metaphysics. – Durs Grünbein, The Bars of Atlantis I resist the idea that books for the beach have to go down as easy as piña coladas. My eccentric and eclectic list of fiction and non-fiction in […]
(I am one of the judges for the Best Translated Book Award (fiction division) sponsored by Three Percent. The five finalists will be announced in New York on February 16th. Three Percent honcho Chad Post needed help to meet his goal of posting a commentary on each of the 25 volumes on the BTB’s fiction […]