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Book Title: The Word as Archipelago|
Date of issue: September 1st 2012
ISBN 13: 9781890650476
The author of the book: René Char
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 9.81 MB
Edition: Omnidawn Publishing
Read full description of the books The Word as Archipelago:This bilingual volume, with the French and English on facing pages, is a translation of a book of poems by René Char, a 20th-century French poet known for his work of great beauty.
The Word as Archipelago is the first complete translation into English of La Parole en archipel, an important book that René Char published in 1962, and a book whose title is an apt figure for the whole body of poetry that Char wrote over a period of fifty years. The author of this book is a lover, a visionary of the natural world, an elegist, a phenomenologist of encounter, a mystic of the night, a spirit of defiant freedom who in the Second World War had been a leader in the French Resistance. The book includes work in the different forms Char fluently moves among—the verse poem, the prose poem, and the aphoristic sequence—and displays his characteristic stylistic gifts: vivid concreteness, speculative incisiveness, archipelago-like scope. The word is an island belonging to a unity always partially hidden. Robert Baker’s resonant translation brings into English this language of intuitive crossings. A poet of pessimism and hope at once, perhaps the greatest French practitioner of the prose poem since Rimbaud, Char writes a beautifully open poetry of his avventura amorosa with life itself.
Read information about the authorHe spent his childhood in Névons, the substantial family home completed at his birth, then studied as a boarder at the school of Avignon and subsequently, in 1925, a student at L'École de Commerce de Marseille, where he read Plutarch, François Villon, Racine, the German Romantics, Alfred de Vigny, Gérard de Nerval and Charles Baudelaire.
Char's first book, Cloches sur le cœur was published in 1928 as a compilation of poems written between 1922 and 1926. In late November 1929, Char moved to Paris, where he met Louis Aragon, André Breton, and René Crevel, and joined the surrealists. He remained active in the surrealist movement through the early 1930s but distanced himself gradually from the mid-1930s onward. Throughout his career, Char's work appeared in various editions, often with artwork by notable figures, including Kandinsky, Picasso, Braque, Miró, Matisse and Vieira da Silva.
Char was a friend and close associate of Albert Camus, Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot among writers, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Nicolas de Staël, Georges Braque and Victor Brauner among painters. He was to have been in the car involved in the accident that killed both Camus and Michel Gallimard, but there was not enough room, and returned instead that day by train to Paris.
The composer Pierre Boulez wrote three settings of Char's poetry, Le Soleil des eaux, Le visage nuptial, and Le marteau sans maître. A late friendship developed also between Char and Martin Heidegger, who described Char's poetry as "a tour de force into the ineffable" and was repeatedly his guest at La Thor in the Vaucluse.
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