Some Thing Black

Some Thing Black

by Jacques Roubaud
     
 

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Written in the years following the sudden death of Roubaud's wife, Some Thing Black is a profound and moving transcription of loss, mourning, grief, and the attempts to face honestly and live with the consequences of death, the ever-present not-there-ness of the person who was/is loved.

Overview

Written in the years following the sudden death of Roubaud's wife, Some Thing Black is a profound and moving transcription of loss, mourning, grief, and the attempts to face honestly and live with the consequences of death, the ever-present not-there-ness of the person who was/is loved.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"It is an elegy for our time, in that it rejects the heaven which opens for Beatrice and the ghosts which survive in the atheism of Hardy, and in that it explores overtly the relation between poetry and death. Roubaud asks in effect how one can write about a dead lover, how one can 'say' her--how one can get from the silence or groanings, which alone seem proper, to a work of poetry. By pursuing his hostility to poetry he discovers a language which is usable, and by continuously facing death he descends progressively further into the meaning of poetry. He has written a thoroughly modern 'love poem.'" --Michael Edwards, Times Literary Supplement

Dalkey Archive Press

"No work of recent French poetry, indeed of recent French literature, is more moving than Some Thing Black.... [O]ne reads Some Thing Black from the first sentence on with breath withheld, as if one had forgotten (and perhaps one had) that the richest poetry communicates, not only sounds and ideas and images, but also emotions.... So emotionally powerful and technically original are these poems that they should be situated not only within the context of recent French poetry, but also within the long history of the poem of mourning in European literature.... In nearly every poem of Some Thing Black particulars haunt one as universals. Which is the hallmark of a lasting work of art.... Roubaud succeeds in creating an original, unforgettable poetic equivalent for that complex state of mind and feeling which arises in the presence of death. The most complex intellectual and emotional state that man can know." --Asylum

Dalkey Archive Press

Times Literary Supplement
This is a harrowing book, about the death of Jacques Roubaud's wife. . . . He has written a thoroughly modern 'love poem.'"

Michael Edwards— Times Literary Supplement

Asylum
No work of recent French poetry, indeed of recent French literature, is more moving than Some Thing Black. . . . [O]ne reads Some Thing Black from the first sentence on with breath withheld, as if one had forgotten (and perhaps one had) that the richest poetry communicates, not only sounds and ideas and images, but also emotions.
Library Journal
While all translation is re-creation, the translation of poetry must convey image, mood, cadence, and concentrated subtlety. In this regard, Waldrop's fine translation is a tribute to Roubaud's rich and often lyrical meditation on death. On the surface these prose poems are an expression of the poet's grief at his wife's premature demise. They are, however, more a bold self-portrait in which the poet exposes his psyche and the struggle he endures to make the language he uses in his craft transcend its inherent limitations. Fine reading for both generalists and scholars of French literature.-- Anthony Caprio, Oglethorpe Univ., Atlanta, Ga.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564782069
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
04/28/1999
Pages:
144
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Jacques Roubaud, born in 1932, has been a professor of mathematics at the University of Paris X Nanterre. He is one of the most accomplished members of the Oulipo, the workshop for experimental literature founded by Raymond Queneau and Francois Le Lionnais. He is the author of numerous books of prose, theatre and poetry.

Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Germany and has lived in the United States since 1958. The author and translator of dozens of books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, she is the co-founder and co- publisher of Burning Deck Press. Waldrop s many honors include being named a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, fellowships from the NEA, the Fund for Poetry, and the Lila Wallace Reader s Digest Writers Award. In 2006 she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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