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Translator Johnson (English & comparative literature, Harvard Univ.) resurrects for English readers for the first time Divagations, the 1897 work of French symbolist Mallarmé. The book is appropriately titled, as Mallarmé's pieces wander from "Poor Pale Child," a reflection on a child singing and begging in the streets, to "Tennyson Viewed from Here," a tribute to the poetic gift of Alfred Tennyson on the occasion of his death. Throughout, Mallarmé's profound love of words and poetry is clear. (He credits the work of Théodore de Banville, "the very voice of the lyre," as the inspiration behind his earliest writings.) For Mallarmé, poetry is more than words on a page; it is at the center of what it means to be human. An appreciation of music, painting, and poetry is inextricably interwoven with his comments on the works of German composer Richard Wagner and French painter Edouard Manet. Mallarmé's writings are in a dense, rich, hypnotic prose not for the casual reader. For the student of Mallarmé, Johnson makes accessible a treasure of divagations. Appropriate for larger academic libraries.