Translated by Tess Lewis
5 x 8.5 inches, 352pp. November 2013
ISBN : 9780857421678
Rs 495.00 (HB)
Since his first collection of poetry appeared in 1953, Philippe Jaccottet has sought to express the ineffable that lies at the heart of our material world in his essential, elemental poetry. As one of Switzerlands’s most prominent and prolific men of letters, Jaccottet has published more than a dozen books of poetry and criticism, but none are widely available in English.
Seedtime—Jaccottet’s notebooks—is an especially good introduction to this leading francophone Swiss author, containing the poet’s observations of the natural world and his reflections on literature, art, music, and the human condition. In these explorations, he returns again and again to the fundamental, focusing his prodigious talents on describing the exact shade of light on a meadow, the sound of running water, the color of cherry and almond blossoms, or the cry of a bird in the stillness before dawn. In this translation by Tess Lewis, English readers will finally be able to join this poet as we follow in his footsteps of fifty years ago and find the still-viable seeds of his delicate and tenacious verse.
Philippe Jaccottet’s most recent collections of poems and poetic prose texts include Cahier de verdure (Notebook of Greenery, 1990), AprÃ¨s beau- coup d’annÃ©es (After Many Years, 1994), Et, nÃ©anmoins (And, Nonetheless, 2001) and Ce Peu de bruits (These Slight Noises, 2008). His prizes include the Petrarch Prize and the Schiller Prize (2010), the highest Swiss literary distinction. In 2014, his collected writings were published in Gallimard’s pres- tigious ‘PlÃ©iade’ series, a rare honor for a living author.
Tess Lewis has translated seven books and numerous essays and articles from French and German. Her translations include works by Peter Handke, Alois Hotschnig, Julya Rabinowich, Lukas Bï¿½rfuss, Philippe Jaccottet, Pascal Bruckner and Jean-Luc Benoziglio among others. She has been awarded a PEN Translation Fund grant and an NEA Translation Fellowship. She also serves as an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review and writes essays on European Literature for various literary journals and newspapers.