Alcools: Poems

Alcools: Poems

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by Guillaume Apollinaire
     
 

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Alcools, first published in 1913 and one of the few indispensable books of twentieth- century poetry, provides a key to the century’s history and consciousness. Champion of “cubism”, Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) fashions in verse the sonic equivalent of what Picasso accomplishes in his cubist works: simultaneity. Apollinaire has been so

Overview

Alcools, first published in 1913 and one of the few indispensable books of twentieth- century poetry, provides a key to the century’s history and consciousness. Champion of “cubism”, Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) fashions in verse the sonic equivalent of what Picasso accomplishes in his cubist works: simultaneity. Apollinaire has been so influential that without him there would have been no New York School of poetry and no Beat Movement. This new translation reveals his complex, beautiful, and wholly contemporary poetry. Printed with the original French on facing pages, this is the only version of this seminal work of French Modernism currently available in the United States.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Revell (Beautiful Shirt) buoyantly delivers into English the swift visions and odd, bright beauty of Alcools (originally published in 1913), arguably one of this century's most inventive and influential books of poetry. Apollinaire, writes Revell, ``introduced the century to its true self.'' He popularized the term ``surrealism'' and, in poems like the sparkling ``Zone'' and the more magisterial but no less energetic ``The Harvest Month,'' strove to bring a form of cubism to poetry through the use of verbal collage, polyphony and highly extracted urban imagery, all of which later had a profound effect on American Modernism and the Beats. In translations facing the original French, Revell has maintained the deliberate awkwardness of Apollinaire's free verse, his informal slant rhymes and assonance. Contoured and complex, Alcools has aged well, retaining its ability to illuminate the modern experience with rare force and whimsy: ``Listen to me I am the gullet of Paris/ If it pleases me I will swallow all of creation/ Listen to my songs of cosmic drunkenness...'' (Aug.)
French poetry does not come over very well in English, in what Henry James called 'our own less pensive tongue.' And this I feel is the signal excellence of what Revell does with Alcools as a whole: he translates into a lighter, quicker, more spontaneous tone than we are accustomed to. He parallels the dizzing velocity of Apollinaire's French while remaining legible in English. It is an unfussy version-personal yet not eccentric-that will give readers the chance to taste the source.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780819571793
Publisher:
Wesleyan University Press
Publication date:
03/01/2011
Series:
Wesleyan Poetry Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
185
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Mark Rudman
"French poetry does not come over very well in English, in what Henry James called 'our own less pensive tongue.' And this I feel is the signal excellence of what Revell does with Alcools as a whole: he translates into a lighter, quicker, more spontaneous tone than we are accustomed to. He parallels the dizzing velocity of Apollinaire's French while remaining legible in English. It is an unfussy version–personal yet not eccentric–that will give readers the chance to taste the source."

Meet the Author

DONALD REVELL recently became Writer-in Residence and Professor of English at the University of Utah. Winner of a Guggenheim and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, his most recent Wesleyan book is Beautiful Shirt (1994).

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Alcools: Poems 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
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