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The essential work of Mallarmé, collected in a bilingual French and English edition.
Selected Poetry and Prose of Stéphane Mallarmé presents what can be considered the essential work of the renowned “father of the Symbolists.” Mallarmé’s major elegies, sonnets, and other verse, including excerpts from the dialogue “Hériodiade,” are all assembled here with the French and English texts en face. Also included (not bilingually) are the visual poem “Dice Thrown Never Will Annul Chance” and the drama “Igitur,” as well as letters, essays, and reviews. Although his primary concern was with poetry, the aesthetics of Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-98) has touched all the arts. During the last twenty years of his life, his Paris apartment was a major literary gathering place. Every Tuesday evening, standing beneath the portrait of himself by his friend Edouard Manet, the poet addressed reverent gatherings which included at various times Paul Valery and André Gide, among many others. The American painter James Whistler was influenced by these “Mardis,” and one of the best-known poems in the present collection, “The Afternoon of a Faun,” inspired Claude Debussy’s famous musical composition. In translation, the subtle and varied shades of Mallarmé’s oeuvre may best be rendered by diverse hands. Editor Mary Ann Caws, the author of books on René Char, Robert Desnos, and various aspects of modern French writing, has brought together the work of fourteen translators, spanning a century, from the Symbolists and the Bloomsbury group (George Moore and Roger Fry) to Cid Corman, Brian Coffey, and other contemporary poets and writers.
Stéphane Mallarmé was the most radically innovative of nineteenth-century poets. His writings, with their richly sensuous texture and air of slyly intangible mystery, perplexed or outraged many early readers; yet no writer has more profoundly influenced the course of modern poetry - in English as well as in French. In both form and content, his poems created new ways of conveying existential doubt, fragmentation, and discontinuity. This is the fullest collection of Mallarmé's
poetry ever published in English, and the only edition in any language that presents his Poésies in the last arrangement known to have been approved by the author. Apart from verse, it includes all the prose poems and the unique, unclassifiable Un Coup de dés... (A Dice Throw...). The lucid, wide-ranging
introduction and invaluable notes help an understanding of this astonishing poet's work.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
The salmagundi of prose poems, prose-poetic musings, criticism, and reflections that is Divagations has long been considered a treasure trove by students of aesthetics and modern poetry. If Mallarmé captured the tone and very feel of fin-de-siècle Paris, he went on to captivate the minds of the greatest writers of the twentieth century--from Valéry and Eliot to Paul de Man and Jacques Derrida. This was the only book of prose he published in his lifetime and, in a new translation by Barbara Johnson, is now available for the first time in English as Mallarmé arranged it. The result is an entrancing work through which a notoriously difficult-to-translate voice shines in all of its languor and musicality.
Whether contemplating the poetry of Tennyson, the possibilities of language, a masturbating priest, or the transporting power of dance, Mallarmé remains a fascinating companion--charming, opinionated, and pedantic by turns. As an expression of the Symbolist movement and as a contribution to literary studies, Divagations is vitally important. But it is also, in Johnson's masterful translation, endlessly mesmerizing.
During his lifetime, Stéphane Mallarmé (1842 – 1898) was recognized as one of the greatest living French poets. He wrote extensively on themes of reality and his desire to turn away from it, marrying form and content in revolutionary ways that departed drastically from the more tightly controlled French tradition. Despite his status as one of the first modernists, much of Mallarmé's radicalism has been lost in translation. Finally, in this new collection by Blake Bronson-Bartlett and Robert Fernandez, the magic and mastery of form and diction, so striking in Mallarmé's French verse, comes to life in English. Drawing from Poésies (1899), Un coup de dés (A Cast of Dice), and the "Livre" (the "Book"—the overarching conceptual work left unfinished at the death of the poet), this collection captures Mallarmé's true linguistic brilliance, bringing the poems into our current history while retaining the music, playfulness, and power of the originals.
La lune s’attristait. Des séraphins en pleurs
Rêvant, l’archet aux doigts, dans le calme des fleurs
Vaporeuses, tiraient de mourantes violes
De blancs sanglots glissant sur l’azur des corolles.
— C’était le jour béni de ton premier baiser.
Ma songerie aimant à me martyriser
S’enivrant savamment du parfum de tristesse
Que même sans regret et sans déboire laisse
La cueillaison d’un Rêve au cœur qui l’a cueilli.
Fruit d’une sélection réalisée au sein des fonds de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, Collection XIX a pour ambition de faire découvrir des textes classiques et moins classiques dans les meilleures éditions du XIXe siècle.