Illuminations

Illuminations

Hardback Language: English / French

By (author) Arthur Rimbaud, Translated by John Ashbery

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  • Publisher: WW Norton & Co
  • Format: Hardback | 176 pages
  • Language: English / French
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 213mm x 23mm | 386g
  • Publication date: 11 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0393076350
  • ISBN 13: 9780393076356
  • Edition: Bilingual edition
  • Edition statement: Bilingual
  • Sales rank: 183,089

Product description

First published in 1886, Arthur Rimbaud s Illuminations?the work of a poet who had abandoned poetry before the age of twenty-one?changed the language of poetry. Hallucinatory and feverishly hermetic, it is an acknowledged masterpiece of world literature, still unrivaled for its haunting blend of sensuous detail and otherworldly astonishment. In Ashbery's translation of this notoriously elusive text, the acclaimed poet and translator lends his inimitable voice to a venerated classic. W. H. Auden recognized the strong affinities between Ashbery's poetry and Rimbaud's Illuminations in his 1956 introduction to Ashbery's first book, Some Trees, noting that "the imaginative life of the human individual stubbornly continues to live by the old magical notions." And it is here, in the "crystalline jumble" and "disordered collection of magic lantern slides" of Illuminations, as Ashbery writes in the Preface, that we can rediscover this essential lineage. "Absolute modernity" was for Rimbaud "acknowledging the simultaneity of all of life, the condition that nourishes poetry at every second. [...] If we are absolutely modern?and we are?it's because Rimbaud commanded us to be." Ashbery's idiomatic and lyrical translations of these forty-four texts convey the originality of Rimbaud's vision to English-speaking readers of a new century."

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Review quote

To translate from one language into another is to risk losing the force, the soul, of the original. But not in this instance of John Ashberry's splendid version of Rimbaud's Illuminations. "Wise music is missing from our desire," he writes in his English version of the last line of "Conte" ("Tale"), losing neither the substance nor the truth of Rimbaud's great poetry. --Paula Fox, author of Desperate Characters"