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King of a Hundred Horsemen

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King of a Hundred Horsemen is the first of Marie Etienne's books to be published in English, and it introduces a major voice in world literature to a new audience. Etienne's poetry is inspired by the synthesis of the contemporary and the classical, the tragic and the mundane, the everyday transformed by the prisms of myth and history. In this book, through a complex but playful reinterpretation of the sonnet form, she moves from the jungles of Indochina to the Atlanta airport, tuning in to writers' voices and ...

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Overview

King of a Hundred Horsemen is the first of Marie Etienne's books to be published in English, and it introduces a major voice in world literature to a new audience. Etienne's poetry is inspired by the synthesis of the contemporary and the classical, the tragic and the mundane, the everyday transformed by the prisms of myth and history. In this book, through a complex but playful reinterpretation of the sonnet form, she moves from the jungles of Indochina to the Atlanta airport, tuning in to writers' voices and painters' visions, in a quest with dream-intensity both through and out of time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
King of a Hundred Horsemen . . . cultivates a hybrid lyricism, rooted in autobiography yet oblique and fragmentary, synthesizing lived experience and literary allusion, truncated narrative and gnomic utterance, shifting between voices and genders. Hacker’s rendering keeps pace with Étienne’s metamorphic French, finding analogous registers and styles. But she also exploits the heterogeneous resources of English to release a stream of surprising effects, each verbal choice becoming an interpretive move that captures and enriches its French counterpart.” —citation for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation

“In King of a Hundred Horsemen, the images of the past, imagined and real, return to haunt the present, shaping identity like the nudge of a guilty conscience.” —Clinton Krute, The Brooklyn Rail

“A beautiful, pensive novel-in-verse, King of a Hundred Horsemen presents one of France’s most important contemporary writers at her most delicate and most complex. Étienne’s integration of autobiography and haunting atmosphere make this not only the portrait of a life, but also that of a world in transition. Translator Marilyn Hacker, herself one of America’s foremost poets, has rendered the whole beautifully, keeping all its nuances and sensuality alive.” —Cole Swensen

“Odd as it can be, and just that brilliant. I cannot possibly imagine anyone having dared to translate this singularly angled poem of a startling prose except Marilyn Hacker, whose triumph equals that of the author. Two bravas, please!” —Mary Ann Caws, author of Surprised in Translation and editor of The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374181185
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 10/28/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marie Étienne is a poet and novelist who lives in Paris, where she is a frequent contributor to literary and book review journals.

Marilyn Hacker is the author of eleven books of poems and seven books of translations from the French.

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Table of Contents

Ocean / Emotion 3

Proof by the Birds 27

War Diary 49

A Witness Disappears 71

The Assassin's Denial 93

Watchman, Reflecting 115

The End and the Beginning 137

Little Dance 159

Some of Them Are Japanese 181

Quotations and Incitements 203

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