Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Le Comte de Lautréamont’s The Songs of Maldoror translated by R J Dent

October 10, 2013
Le Comte de Lautréamont'

Le Comte de Lautréamont’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Le Comte de Lautréamont’s seminal classic, The Songs of Maldoror (Les Chants de Maldoror) is now available in R J Dent’s modern English translation:

 

 

maldoror

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R J Dent discusses his translation of Le Comte de Lautréamont’s The Songs of Maldoror:

 

 

 

 

‘Lautréamont’s Songs of Maldoror [is] the black bible… almost the basic dream text of surrealism.’ J G Ballard 

 

 

R J Dent reads an extract from his translation of Le Comte de Lautréamont’s The Songs of Maldoror:

 

 

 

 

The Songs of Maldoror is an enigma of redoubtable power.’ Jacques Derrida

 

 

A promotional book trailer for R J Dent’s modern English translation of Le Comte de Lautréamont’s The Songs of Maldoror:

 

 

 

 

The Songs of Maldoror is ‘the expression of a revelation so complete it seems to exceed human potential.’ André Breton

 

 

R J Dent’s translation of The Songs of Maldoror is available from the University of Chicago Press:

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/S/bo11333938.html

 

and from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Maldoror-Solar-Nocturnal/dp/0982046480

 

 

http://www.rjdent.com

 

rjdent logo

 

Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil translated by R J Dent

October 7, 2013

 

Charles Baudelaire

Charles Baudelaire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Baudelaire’s seminal classic, The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du Mal) is now available in R J Dent’s modern English translation:

 

flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R J Dent discusses his translation of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil:

 

 

R J Dent reads ‘I give you these verses…’ from his translation of Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil:

 

 

A promotional book trailer for R J Dent’s modern English translation of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil:

 

 

 

R J Dent’s translation of The Flowers of Evil is available from the University of Chicago Press:

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/F/bo10734555.html

and from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Evil-Artificial-Paradise-Nocturnal/dp/0979984777/ref=la_B0034Q3RD4_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381152776&sr=1-2

 

 

http://www.rjdent.com

 

rjdent logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments translated by R J Dent

October 7, 2013

 

 

alcaeus

 

 

 

R J Dent’s English translation of the ancient Greek Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus is now available in paperback and e-book formats.

 

alcaeus

 

 

R J Dent discusses the inspiration behind his translation of Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments:

 

 

R J Dent reads ‘The North Wind’ from Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments:

 

 

R J Dent reads ‘To be weighed down…’ from Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments:

 

 

A promotional book trailer for Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments, translated into modern English by R J Dent:

 

 

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments is available from Circaidy Gregory Press:

http://www.circaidygregory.co.uk/alcaeus.htm

and from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alcaeus-Fragments-R-J-Dent/dp/1906451532/ref=la_B0034Q3RD4_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381150009&sr=1-3

 

http://www.rjdent.com

 

rjdent logo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In R J Dent’s Library – Derek Jarman

September 27, 2013

 

A look in R J Dent’s library at the works (screenplays, journals, diaries, essays, stories, paintings) of author, film-maker, set designer, gardener, artist and outspoken gay rights activist – Derek Jarman.

In R J Dent’s Library – Derek Jarman

Text (c) R J Dent (2013)

Film (c) R J Dent (2013)

http://www.rjdent.com

rjdent logo

Herculaneum Art

August 3, 2013

186

Herculaneum (in modern Italian Ercolano) was an ancient Roman town destroyed (along with Pompeii) in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, which buried it in superheated pyroclastic material.

 181

It is also famous as one of the few ancient cities that can now be seen in almost its original splendour, because unlike Pompeii, its burial was deep enough to ensure the upper storeys of buildings remained intact, and the hotter ash preserved wooden household objects such as beds and doors and even food.

177

Moreover Herculaneum was a wealthier town than Pompeii with an extraordinary density of fine houses, and far more lavish use of coloured marble cladding.

188

Consequently, Herculaneum is full of art treasures – murals, frescoes, statues, bas reliefs, busts, wall paintings, moldings and so on.

167

The art at Herculaneum has been preserved for over 2000 years. It is incredible that it has survived for so long.

190

Herculaneum Art

(c) R J Dent 2013

http://www.rjdent.com

Pompeii

August 3, 2013

The city of Pompeii was an ancient Roman town-city near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania, in the territory of the comune of Pompei.

056

Pompeii along with Herculaneum and many villas in the surrounding area, were mostly destroyed and buried under 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20 ft) of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

058

The eruption was cataclysmic for the town. Evidence for the destruction originally came from a surviving letter by Pliny the Younger, who saw the eruption from a distance and described the death of his uncle Pliny the Elder, an admiral of the Roman fleet, who tried to rescue citizens. The site was lost for about 1500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599.

059

The objects that lay beneath the city have been well preserved for thousands of years because of the lack of air and moisture. These artifacts provide an extraordinarily detailed insight into the life of a city during the Pax Romana.

107

Pompeii has been a tourist destination for over 250 years. Today it has UNESCO World Heritage Site status and is one of the most popular tourist attractions of Italy, with approximately 2.5 million visitors every year.

160

In 1971, the rock band Pink Floyd recorded the live concert film Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii, performing six songs in the ancient Roman amphitheatre in the city. The audience consisted only of the film’s production crew and some local children.

130

133

Pompeii

(c) R J Dent 2013

http://www.rjdent.com

Alcaeus in Santorini

February 11, 2013

Alcaeus on a shelf, Atlantis Books, Santorini

Copies of the Poems & Fragments of Alcaeus, translated into English by the poet and novelist R J Dent, and published by Circaidy Gregory Press, are now available to buy at Atlantis Books in Santorini.

atlantis

Atlantis Books is a truly amazing bookshop. It’s on the Main Marble Road in Oia, Santorini. Inside, it’s a bibliophile’s treasure-trove.

Atlantis_books 1

Alcaeus’s Poems & Fragments has made its way across the world and onto a shelf of Greek poetry and literature in Atlantis Books. It’s almost as though Alcaeus has gone home.

alcaeus in santorini 3

Here’s Alcaeus alongside Philip Sherrard, Dionysios Solōmos, Arthur Machen, Homer, and other distinguished Greek and Anglo-Greek authors and scholars.

alcaeus in santorini 1

Atlantis Books in Oia, Santorini, is one of the bibliophile wonders of the world. There is no other bookshop quite like it.

atlantis books 1

atlantis-1

It’s fitting that Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments is now available to lovers of Greek poetry and Greek literature – on a Greek island as beautiful as Santorini, and in a bookshop as unique as Atlantis Books.

Alcaeus front cover Atlantis Books, Santorini

Alcaeus back cover Atlantis Books, Santorini

Atlantis Books, Main Marble Road, Oia, Santorini, Cyclades, Greece.

http://www.atlantisbooks.org/

1104Atlantis_books3

 

Alcaeus: Poems & Fragments, translated into English by R J Dent.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Alcaeus-Fragments-R-J-Dent/dp/1906451532/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3

cgp

 

Circaidy Gregory Press, Hastings, Sussex, UK.

http://www.circaidygregory.co.uk/

 

R J Dent

www.rjdent.com

 

rjdent logo

The Songs of Maldoror

November 9, 2010


The Songs of Maldoror

by Le Comte de Lautréamont

Translated by R J Dent

Illustrated by Salvador Dalí

Foreword by Paul Éluard

Lautréamont’s Biography by Jeremy Reed

Introduction by Candice Black


264 pages, 22 half-tones, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Series: Solar Books – Solar Nocturnal

Paper $16.95

ISBN: 9780982046487

 

‘A new, definitive edition of Lautréamont’s influential masterpiece. Vividly translated by R J Dent.’

 

‘Lautréamont’s Songs of Maldoror [is] the black bible… almost the basic dream text of surrealism.’ J G Ballard

 

The Songs of Maldoror is an enigma of redoubtable power.’ Jacques Derrida

 

The Songs of Maldoror is ‘the expression of a revelation so complete it seems to exceed human potential.’ André Breton

 

 

Le Comte de Lautréamont was the nom de plume of Isidore Ducasse (1846–70), a Uruguayan-born French writer and poet whose only surviving major work of fiction, The Songs of Maldoror (Les Chants de Maldoror), was discovered by the Surrealists, who hailed the work as a dark progenitor of their movement. It was in The Songs of Maldoror that André Breton discovered the phrase that would come to represent the Surrealist doctrine of objective chance: “as beautiful as the random encounter between an umbrella and a sewing-machine upon a dissecting-table.”

 

Le Comte de Lautréamont

 

Artists inspired by Lautréamont include Man Ray, René Magritte, Max Ernst, André Masson, Joan Miró, Yves Tanguy and, in particular, Salvador Dalí, who in 1933 produced an entire series of illustrations for The Songs of Maldoror. Twenty of those illustrations are included, for the first time, in this new, definitive edition of Lautréamont’s influential masterpiece. Vividly translated by R J Dent – the first new translation for over thirty years – this edition also includes a foreword by French Surrealist poet Paul Éluard and a concise biography of the author by poet Jeremy Reed. In addition, an introduction by series editor Candice Black details the links between Maldoror and the Surrealist movement.

 

The Songs of Maldoror is a poetic novel (or a long prose poem) consisting of six cantos. It was written between 1868 and 1869 by Le Comte de Lautréamont, the pseudonym of Isidore Ducasse. During the early 1900s, many of the surrealists (Salvador Dalí, André Breton, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray and Max Ernst) cited the novel as a major inspiration to their own works. The Songs of Maldoror – and the book’s protagonist Maldoror – have continued to fascinate readers since its publication.

 

Here is a short promotional film of an extract from The Songs of Maldoror.

 

 

The film was made by Duncan Reekie. Details of Duncan’s work can be found at: http://www.duncanreekie.co.uk/

 

Here’s The Sunday Times‘ review of The Songs of Maldoror:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_

and_entertainment/the_tls/article7164138.ece


Here’s The Independent‘s review of The Songs of Maldoror:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/book-of-a-lifetime-les-chants-de-maldoror-by-the-comte-de-lautramont-1632973.html

 

The Songs of Maldoror can be ordered from The University of Chicago Press at:

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=bio&isbn=9780982046487


or from Amazon.co.uk at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Maldoror-Solar-Books-Nocturnal/dp/0982046480/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1289177923&sr=1-1


or from Amazon.com at:

http://www.amazon.com/Songs-Maldoror-Solar-Books-Nocturnal/dp/0982046480/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_3

 

 or from Solar Books at:

http://www.solarbooks.org/solar-titles/maldoror.html

Details of The Songs of Maldoror and R J Dent’s other books can be found at:

www.rjdent.com



Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil

November 7, 2010


The Flowers of Evil & Artificial Paradise

by Charles Baudelaire

Translated by R J Dent


Here’s R J Dent’s translation of Charles Baudelaire’s The Flowers of Evil. It was published by Solar Books on January 9th 2009. According to the blurb it’s ‘a brand new translation that vividly brings Baudelaire’s masterpiece to life for the new millennium’.

R J Dent says: ‘This particular translation was a labour of love; it started years ago, when I studied Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal as an undergraduate and realised how inaccurate the available translations were. I promptly set about translating twenty or so of the best poems, particularly the banned ones. In the process, I very quickly came to admire Charles Baudelaire’s poetic voice. It was refined and dignified, and yet very daring. I now understand these contradictions, if that’s what they are.’

‘I found the translation process itself very interesting. Because Baudelaire’s writing is very visual, it was almost like time-travel; I wandered around 19th century Paris, absorbing the sights, sounds, scents; was taken into the bedrooms of many dusky women, all of them sprawled across their beds, dressed only in jewels and perfume.’

‘When I had finished the translation, I was back in the 21st century. I couldn’t wait to get back to Baudelaire’s Paris. The translation process itself was very much like archaeology. I had the French text and I would work at it steadily, uncovering its buried English meaning, word by word, line by line, until finally, the whole poem would stand naked before me in all its pristine glory. That’s Baudelaire’s poetry for you. If only all translation work was like that.’

‘Incidentally, I very much enjoyed translating the introductory essay by Guillaume Apollinaire, which is now available in English for the first time.’

‘Solar Books has done a great job with The Flowers of Evil. With it they’ve included a new version of Artificial Paradise, which is a series of Baudelaire’s reflections on wine, hashish and opium.’

Odilon Redon’s cover picture, which he painted specifically for The Flowers of Evil, perfectly captures the zeitgeist of Baudelaire’s 19th century Paris.


The Flowers of Evil & Artificial Paradise

Charles Baudelaire

Translated by R J Dent

SOLAR BOOKS

ISBN-10: 0-9799847-7-7

ISBN-13: 978-0-9799847-7-8

Publication date: January 2009


The Flowers of Evil can be ordered from Solar Books at:

http://www.solarbooks.org/solar-titles/flowersofevil.html

or from The University of Chicago Press at:

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/presssite/metadata.epl?mode=synopsis&bookkey=10734555


or from Amazon.com at:

http://www.amazon.com/Flowers-Artificial-Paradise-Solar-Nocturnal/dp/0979984777/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236890663&sr=8-1


or from Amazon.co.uk at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Artificial-Paradise-Solar-Nocturnal/dp/0979984777/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1217774414&sr=1-1


Details of this book and R J Dent’s other works can be found at:

www.rjdent.com



Pascale Petit’s What the Water Gave Me

August 7, 2010

What the Water Gave Me is Pascale Petit’s most recent poetry collection.



The collection is subtitled Poems after Frida Kahlo, and as such, What the Water Gave Me contains fifty-two poems in the voice of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. All of the poems are based on Frida Kahlo’s paintings or drawings; some of the poems are literary interpretations of Kahlo’s work, while others are parallels or version homages where Pascale Petit draws on her training and experience as a visual artist to create alternative word ‘paintings’.


Far more than a mere verse biography, What the Water Gave Me is a vibrant poetry collection which explores how Frida Kahlo transformed and transmuted the trauma of a near-fatal bus accident into personal, but always universal, art. Pascale Petit, with her feel for nature, her understanding of pain and redemption, and her vivid and colourful style (she was once described as ‘Sylvia Plath on acid’) fully inhabits Frida Kahlo’s turbulent world.


In a poem at the beginning of the collection, Pascale Petit sets out her unflinching agenda:


What the Water Gave Me (1)


I am what the water gave me,

a smoke-ring in a jar,


the braided rope

my ladder to the light,


my shivering bird-heart

caught,


my mouth a bubble

of not-yet-breath,


while in my nuclei

two spirals dance,


my budding body sheathed in pearl

as I learn,


even before birth,

to doodle in the dark.


© Pascale Petit (2010)


It’s right there in those words: ‘as I learn… to doodle in the dark’ that Ms Petit manages to catch the unmistakable voice of Frida Kahlo; a voice that can be heard in every poem in this collection. And it’s that kind of scrupulous attention to detail that makes this such a vivid, painful, powerful, vibrant, colourful, and explosive collection of beautifully-crafted poems.



Pascale Petit has commented on What the Water Gave Me:


‘The poems in What the Water Gave Me are spoken in the voice of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and bear the titles of her paintings. A few sequences, such as the title poem, represent one painting over several poems and are woven through the collection. Some poems keep quite close to the paintings, while others are versions or parallels. I have concentrated on the main events of Kahlo’s life in chronological order: her polio as a child, the near-fatal bus accident she suffered as a teenager which left her in constant pain for the rest of her life, her tempestuous marriage to the muralist Diego Rivera whom she loved but referred to as her second accident, his infidelities, her miscarriages, the many surgical procedures she underwent, her vivacity and love of nature and ideas about the interconnectedness of living things, and most of all, how she turned to painting as recompense for her suffering.  However, this book is not a comprehensive verse biography and some aspects of her life are not included, mainly because I wished to focus on how she used art to withstand and transform pain.’


Others have also commented on What the Water Gave Me:


“Petit’s collection is a hard-hitting, palette-knife evocation of the effect that bus crash had on Kahlo’s life and work. ‘And this is how I started painting. / Time stretched out its spectrum / and screeched its brakes.’ WH Auden, in his elegy for Yeats, tells the Irish poet: ‘Mad Ireland hurt you into poetry.’ Petit’s collection, exploring the way trauma hurts an artist into creation, celebrates the rebarbative energy with which Kahlo redeemed pain and transformed it into paint.” Ruth Padel The Guardian 12 June 2010


’Their apparent shared sensibility makes the ventriloquism of these poems entirely unforced, and while Kahlo’s voice is subtly distinguished from Petit’s own, both women have a way of taking painful, private experiences and transmuting them, through imagery, into something that has the power of folklore…They capture the unsettling spirit of Frida Kahlo and her work perfectly.’ Poetry London


’A dazzling and kaleidoscopic look at one of the greatest artists in the world, by Pascale Petit, who is a truly remarkable poet.’ Amazon.co.uk


’In What the Water Gave Me by Pascale Petit, the poet has achieved far more than a biography of Kahlo through verse. The combination of historical details and poetry in this collection is unique…’ The Black Sheep


Ultimately, What the Water Gave Me is a very powerful and important poetry collection. In a number of ways it’s as powerful and as important as her 2001 collection, The Zoo Father.


Pascale Petit’s website can be found here:

http://www.pascalepetit.co.uk/index.php?f=data_poetry_collections&a=0


and her blog can be found here:

http://www.pascalepetit.blogspot.com/


and What the Water Gave Me can be found here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1854115154?tag=paspetsblo-21&camp=2902&creative=19466&linkCode=as4&creative

ASIN=1854115154&adid=0GTH70PX2DQ7S0ST9HQH&


Try What the Water Gave Me. Read it. Then read it again. It’s the best poetry collection published so far this year.


What the Water Gave Me

by Pascale Petit

ISBN: 9781854115157

Seren Books



www.rjdent.com





Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 93 other followers