- Paperback: 376 pages
- Publisher: University of California Press; New Ed edition (22 Oct. 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0520212290
- ISBN-13: 978-0520212299
- Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.1 x 25.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 993,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology, 1927-1984 Paperback – 22 Oct 1997
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"David Ball has assembled and translated a stunning selection of Michaux's works. . . . We feel the fears, hysteria, and humor, and respond to the beauty and awe."--Elizabeth T. Gray, "Harvard Review
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is the most extensive selection in English from all phases of Michaux's long poetic career. It includes excerpts from his prose works - the travel writings and the mescalin writings, although nothing was taken from A Barbarian in Asia and Miserable Miracle. There are some plates that provide a view of Michaux's often superb graphic art.
The translations stand up pretty well against Richard Ellman's in Selected Writings (also highly recommended); however, this is a much larger work. Ball is perhaps on the literal side as a translator, a respectable choice. Probably, the only way to translate a poet impeccably, is to have a team of accomplished poets working in direct collaboration with the living poet who also speaks the second language well. And, of course, that's not the case, here. As far as I know, among major 20th. century poets translated into English, only Jorge Luis Borges was tranlated in this arcadian manner. That said, there's nothing wrong with these translations, except that David Ball, though possessed of a good ear, is not himself a poet, or trying to use a translation of a poem as an occasion to write another poem. Again, this is a respectable choice. In a sense Michaux is easy to translate. His language, though highly individual, is clear and direct (except when he's creating his bombastic new words). It's this language and conscience (John Ashberry's critical insight) in service in service to a deep and powerful visionary faculty, that makes Michaux one of the truly great poets of the 20th. century.
The translation is also excellent.
I can highly recommend him.