Selected Writings (New Directions Book) (New Directions Books) Paperback – 1 Feb 1982
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The leader of the Parisian avant-garde, the champion of cubism, simultaneism, futurism and every other -ism, the poet who embraced the new technologies and exploded poetic form and figure...--Stephen Romer
The young and very ferocious are going to 'understand' Guillaume Apollinaire.--Ezra Pound
From the Back Cover
When Guillaume Apollinaire died in 1918 at the age of thirty-eight, as the result of a war wound, he was already known as one of the most original and important poets of his time. He had led migration of Bohemian Paris across the city from Montmartre to Montparnasse, he had helped formulate the principles of Cubism, having written one of the first books on the subject, and coined the word 'Surrealist'; and he had demonstrated in his own work those innovations we have come to associate with the most vital investigations of the avente - garde.See all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
The translations are, sensibly, gathered from various sources, including Lionel Abel, Malcolm Cowley, Louise Varese (her renderings of some of the essays and other prose pieces are superb), James Kirkup, and C. Day Lewis, whose version of Valery's rightly famous poem Le Cimetiere Marin (here given, reasonably, as The Graveyard by the Sea - 'The Sea Cemetery', say, or 'The Seaside Cemetery' not quite capturing the spirit of the thing) a masterful recreation in both the iambic pentameter and rhyme scheme of the original. Quite a feat, in which Lewis's unavoidable approximations and English synonyms come close enough to what the poet wrote to preclude any sacrifice of meaning. Besides, one of the delights of this volume - and surely necessary with Valery - is that the French (of the poems only, unsurprisingly not the prose) is there on the left-hand page, so that those like me who still retain their school French but not much more can just about read both, to 'compare and contrast'. Lewis and the other translators score far more bullseyes than they miss.
Some of these poems are breathtaking in their audacity. Valery was nothing if not a dedicated man of letters, whose poetry is not as difficult to grasp as it might at first seem (and woe betide a translator who gives it a difficulty it doesn't possess).
The book itself is, like most American-made paperbacks, pleasant to handle, and sturdily bound.The print is clear, and the pages neither too flimsy nor too thick. It is divided into the following sections: Poems, Prose Poems, Prose Writings, On Poetry, On Architecture, On The Dance, Essays On Various Subjects, The Teste Cycle, and Theater - this being New Directions, the US spelling naturally!
Valery wrote on a remarkable range of subjects, and - like Rilke or Baudelaire - was almost as interested in art as literature. There isn't a single page of this stunningly worthwhile book that doesn't reward one's time. One of the best books, of any kind, that I've bought for some time.
This volume is most welcome. Unlike the earlier volume, the translator, Roger Shattuck, provides us with a bilingual collection. Shattuck also provides a better translation which captures Apollinaire's idiosyncrasies and originality far more sharply.
The opening lines of Zone, serve to illustrate:
`In the end you are tired of that world of antiquity
`O Eiffel Tower shepherdess the bridges this morning are a bleating flock'
`You are tired at last of this old world
`O shepherd Eiffel Tower the flock of bridges bleats at the morning'
Whilst Bererd is correct about the feminine (maybe a redundant point), Shattuck is greatly aware of Apollinaires rejection of punctuation and manages to create a clearer image by allowing the lines to flow. Bernerd attempts to maintain the line length of the original and in doing so undermines the sensation of the poem.
This volume offers a generous selection of Apollinaire's poetry. It also contains some of his prose. like many poets, his fiction was pretty basic. But his critiques expose a sharp and original intellect who was not bogged down by the modern world like the War Poets or T S Elliot, but embraced it with massive enthusiasm. He saw the changes in the art world, such as Cubism, as something that presented the world with a challenge: a new perspective that cut through the chaos of war and said :'This is how it is'. And Apollinaire captured that in his poetry.
Roger Shattuck has grasped this lust for life in his translations. Apollinaire is, perhaps, comparable to Whitman in his impact on the art of poetry. I hope that Shattuck intends to translate the remaining body of Apollinaire's poetry. It would be a great service to mankind.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Art, Architecture & Photography
- Books > Fiction > Short Stories
- Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > Essays, Journals & Letters
- Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > History & Criticism
- Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > Poetry > By Period > 19th Century
- Books > Poetry, Drama & Criticism > Poetry > World > French