10 ago. 2005

Mini-Reviews

The Random House Book of Twentieth Century French Poetry. Paul Auster, ed. 1984.

French poetry is dull. All that conservative neo-classicisim. Who can tell one French surrealist poet from another? None of them is as good as Neruda or Aleixandre. I love the idea of French poetry. I love American and Spanish poetry influenced by French poetry. But French poetry itself is not as great as it should be. Pessoa is more interesting than Apollinaire. Sorry. Jabès doesn't have a bigger vocabulary than Racine.

I'll save Ponge and Reverdy, though. Along with parts of Michaux, Artaud... Someday I'll "get" Char. And where are the women? There's only one here. There must be others.

11 comentarios:

jane dijo...

Though I love that anthology, I would agree that if one is a duende fan, there's not much on offer. But that Desnos poem! It's so Spanish in its mad romanticality, it's pratically Catalan! Read it out loud to someone you love!

Jonathan dijo...

You must have missed my earlier post on why I hate duende.

I do love *French poetry,* and this is in fact a good anthology. What I was trying to say is that French poetry is never as good as French poetry ought to be in my imagination of it. There's always that gap between the expectation and the reality. That's part of the experience of reading French poetry, and it always has been. Bonnefoy is a bore, isn't he?

Tony Tost dijo...

Contemporary peeps I recommend: Emmanual Hocquard, Olivier Cadiot, Jacques Roubaud, Pierre Alferi, Anne-Marie Albiach.

Jonathan dijo...

I like Bernard Bador.

Tony Tost dijo...

Those Bador poems were my favorite translations in the Eshleman book you reviewed (thanks for the excellent review btw).

Jonathan dijo...

They're among my favorites too. That's the first I ever heard of him. Not dull.

Tony dijo...

Hi Tony!

Raphael dijo...

Yes, Bonnefoy is a bore, but what about Valery Larbaud (as great and eccentric as Pessoa) and Blaise Cendrars (a patron saint of the New York School and one of the most innovative poets of the 20th century). Both are in Auster's anthology and deserve to be added to your shortlist of Ponge and Reverdy, n'est-ce pas?

Jonathan dijo...

I don't have a good sense of Larbaud yet.

Jonathan dijo...

Which Raphael are you? Rubinstein?

Raphael dijo...

yes, Rubinstein, leaving my first comment ever on your blog. (I hope this one goes through--I haven't quite mastered the comment leaving process.) Like Pessoa, Larbaud wrote poetry under the guise of an invented author (though only one, in his case), a millionaire named A.O. Barnabooth. Most of Larbaud's poetry has been translated by none other than Ron Padgett. Larbaud also wrote some interesting but little known macaronic verse that combines French, English, Italian, Spanish and other languages.