and Other Poems
Translated by Mark Hutchinson
5 x 8.5 inches, 112pp. November 2015
ISBN : 9780857423245
Rs 495.00 (HB)
One of the foremost poets of the French Resistance, René Char has been hailed by Donald Revell as 'the conscience of modern French poetry'. Translated by Mark Hutchinson, The Inventors is a companion volume to Char’s critically acclaimed Hypnos. It gathers more than 40 poems that represent a cross-section of Char’s mature work, spanning from 1936 to 1988. All three genres of Char’s work are represented here: verse poems, prose poems and the abrupt, lapidary propositions for which he is best known. These maxima sententia combine the terseness of La Rochefoucauld with the probing and sometimes riddling character of the fragments of Heraclitus.
The Inventors includes a brief introduction to Char’s life and work, as well as a series of notes on the backstories of the works, which explain allusions that may not be immediately familiar to the English-speaking reader. These new translations stay true to the originals, while at the same time conveying much of the music and beauty of the French poems.
René Char was born in L'Isle-sur-Sorgue in the south of France in 1907 and died in Paris in 1988. A major influence on the generation of French poets who came of age after the Second World War, he was a close friend and associate of Albert Camus. He is widely considered the foremost French poet of his generation.
Mark Hutchinson was born in London and lives in Paris. Among his many translations from the French are several books by the poet Emmanuel Hocquard and a collection of essays by the sculptor Raymond Mason.