Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: William Blake’s and Robert Graves’ The Tyger by R J Dent

April 15, 2016

 

tygerbig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tiger

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry

 

In what distant deeps or skies

Burnt the fire of thine eyes

On what wings dared he aspire

What the hand dared seize the fire

 

And what shoulder and what art

Could twist the sinews of thy heart

Did he smile his work to see

Did he who made the lamb make thee

 

Tiger tiger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

Dared frame thy fearful symmetry

 

Robert Graves

 

Even the most cursory glance will reveal some fundamental differences between the above two poems. Graves’ rewrite came about due to a number of flaws he felt existed in Blake’s poem. He writes of these in ‘Tyger, Tyger’, an essay collected in The Crane Bag and Other Disputed Subjects. In the essay, Graves is particularly scathing of Blake’s tendency to mix his tenses, remain ‘imprecise and ambiguous’, ‘grammatically incoherent’ and to not care about the rhetorical focus of the poem.

More importantly, however, Graves neglects at any time to mention that he has ‘made his own arrangement of The Tyger’. After interviewing Graves, Christopher Burstall claims that Graves’ ‘arrangement’ includes ‘cutting out two verses and putting the whole poem in the past tense’, so that it is grammatically correct and more structurally cohesive. Read more…

imagesM2IRSH04

 

A Collaboration of Unlike Minds: Robert Graves’ and William Blake’s The Tyger

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 

Advertisements

Pauline Baynes and J.R.R. Tolkien

January 25, 2016

Pauline Diana Baynes (9 September 1922 – 1 August 2008) was an English illustrator whose work can be found in more than one hundred books, notably several by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Pauline_Baynes01

Pauline Baynes was born in Hove, East Sussex. She spent much of her childhood in Farnham, studying at the Farnham School of Art (now the University for the Creative Arts) and eventually attended the Slade School of Fine Art.

farmer-giles-of-ham-60th-anniversary-edition

 

She worked for the Ministry of Defence, where she was soon transferred to a map-making department, and where she acquired skills that she later employed when she drew maps of Middle-Earth for J. R. R. Tolkien.

tumblr_nu1nipaNDE1uqa8j0o1_400

In her obituary for The Daily Telegraph, Charlotte Cory described how Baynes and Tolkien came to be associated:

‘In 1948 Tolkien was visiting his publishers, George Allen & Unwin, to discuss some disappointing artwork that they had commissioned for his novella Farmer Giles of Ham, when he spotted, lying on a desk, some witty reinterpretations of medieval marginalia from the Luttrell Psalter that greatly appealed to him. These, it turned out, had been sent to the publishers ‘on spec’ by the then-unknown Pauline Baynes. Tolkien demanded that the creator of these drawings be set to work illustrating Farmer Giles of Ham and was delighted with the subsequent results, declaring that ‘Pauline Baynes has reduced my text to a commentary on her drawings’. Further collaboration between Tolkien and his Farmer Giles illustrator followed, and a lifelong friendship developed…’

phpq0vkzuAM

Tolkien wanted Pauline Baynes to illustrate The Lord of the Rings, but the book grew into a huge project that made that particular plan impractical. Nevertheless, Baynes created immaculately drawn and exquisitely coloured versions of the author’s maps of the lands travelled by Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

me map2

Baynes’ also designed a slipcase for the three volumes of Tolkien’s epic:

lotr3 slipcase

The slipcase illustrations were later adapted for the cover for the original one-volume 1973 paperback edition – an indispensable prop of the seventies generation – with its evocative landscape of Middle-Earth viewed through a doorway of yellow, over-arching trees.

lotr1 front

lotr2 back

The same designs were used for the 1981 three volumes edition.

lotr123 1981

Eventually, a drawing by Pauline Baynes was used to illustrate Tolkien’s final hobbit piece, the poem, Bilbo’s Last Song:

a0ac9c691521f17bd6ea7297a85dcd3f

which appeared as a poster in 1974:

3364308488

and then as a book in 1990:

2090940756

Pauline Baynes was for a long while the only Tolkien illustrator of note.

baynes2

Her work was approved by Tolkien himself, but faded from view as the Tolkien industry began to expand in the late seventies and other artists quickly crowded the field, many of whom lacked Pauline Baynes’ subtlety and sympathy for the material.

2313701168

Pauline Baynes and J.R.R. Tolkien

© R J Dent 2016

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

On Translating Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal into English – by R J Dent

January 10, 2015

flowers of evil - r j dent - baudelaire

One of the frustrations, the challenges, the problems – and probably the joys – of translating Baudelaire’s poetry is choosing the correct idiom to translate into.

Taking the words, sentences, phrases, lines, from the language of one country and translating them into the corresponding or equivalent language of another country is the type of work that can be done by almost anyone.

However, choosing the absolutely perfect cultural, social, geographical, spatial, historical, temporal and linguistic framework to put the translated words onto is another matter entirely, and will very much depend on the translator’s intentions and the receptive vocabulary of the proposed readership.

And when it’s poetry that is being translated, the task becomes even more complicated; the problems suddenly multiply. Read more…

464772_on-translating-baudelaire_230x230

R J Dent says: ‘I found translating Charles Baudelaire’s influential poetry collection Les Fleurs du Mal from French into modern English to be a rewarding, but challenging experience. This essay outlines some of the challenges and joys of the translation process.’

 R J Dent’s English translation of The Flowers of Evil is available at:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Flowers-Evil-Artificial-Paradise-Nocturnal/dp/0979984777/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

flowers of evil - r j dent - baudelaire

 

On Translating Baudelaire

Copyright © R J Dent (2007 & 2016)

 

Follow R J Dent’s work on:

 

website: http://www.rjdent.com/

amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/R.-J.-Dent/e/B0034Q3RD4

blog: https://rjdent.wordpress.com/

twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDent

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rjdentwriter

youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/user/rjdent69

 

Tom de Freston’s The Charnel House – a review by R J Dent

December 16, 2014

 

The Charnel House

Tom de Freston

A review by R J Dent

 

10711051_10100661109887894_376736121669565771_n

 

Although Tom de Freston refers to his book, The Charnel House, as ‘a poetic graphic novel’, it’s a hybrid book which defies easy categorization. It’s a poetry anthology; it’s a series of paintings turned into comic strip format, complete with text; it’s a moving and profound multi-authored novel. The Charnel House shares literary and artistic territory with Spiegelman’s Maus, or Moore/Gibbons’ Watchmen, or Briggs’ When the Wind Blows. It also shares some of Samuel Beckett’s tragicomic preoccupations.

The Charnel House origins lie in a series of paintings Tom de Freston has created over the past few years, featuring a horse-headed human hybrid character; a character which Freston freely admits he appropriated from Picasso’s Guernica – and which also has similarities to the horse head in Fuseli’s The Nightmare. In The Charnel House, Freston has provided horse-head with a plausible world and a coherent narrative. The Charnel House narrative follows horse-head through the various stages of its existence.

 tdf - tch4

The effectiveness of Freston’s imagery is due to the careful juxtaposition of the terrible and the harrowing with the everyday. Scenes of mutation, mutilation, torture, sadness, death, sex, love and lust take place in various domestic settings; the action is constantly framed by windows, or lit up by bare bulbs, or reflected in mirrors, thereby making the reader culpable by being vicariously voyeuristic.

 tdf - tch2

The startling, often shocking, imagery is set out on the pages in classic graphic novel style and the accompanying poetry is positioned to complement the art that inspired it. The Charnel House challenges the reader’s engagement with both subject and subject matter by the employment of ekphrasis, a technique usually defined as ‘a literary description of or commentary on a visual work of art’. The Charnel House explores themes of identity and memory, love and loss, by presenting twisted and confused versions of the universal and the domestic; of reality and the nature of perception; of cruelty and suffering, and the relationship between the past, the present and the future.

 tdf - tch1

Contributions by 37 poets, each inspired by the original paintings, are set on the adjacent pages to the illustrations, and the graphic novel format and ekphrasis create a narrative. Mythology is used, historical and notable artworks are frequently referenced, as are images of modern-day political atrocities. This is where the real power of Freston’s use of ekphrasis becomes evident. Although horse-head is constantly on the cusp of revelation, of understanding exactly who and where it is, he/it is never able to actually achieve enlightenment.

 tdf - tch6

But The Charnel House, despite its name, is not all sturm und drang, screams and shrieks, nihilism and existential angst; a major theme of the collection is identity, and the preoccupations of the self. It’s intense, dark, emotional, surreal, yet deeply personal and simultaneously universal. Admittedly, it’s a very tough collection to get through, but its content is immensely rich, and the poems and the illustrations are so moving that it’s worth the effort needed to read the whole work. It’s an incredible collection.

 tdf - tch5

The Charnel House is a very experimental and incredibly powerful anthology of poems and illustrations that explore the relationship between mind and body, reality and dreams, passion, lust, and love. It’s a deep, dark, emotional collection. Ultimately, The Charnel House is a work of great depth and imagination.

FRONT-COVER-200x300 

The Charnel House is available as a free e-book and as a hardback published by Bridgedoor Press.

 

Tom de Freston’s work can be found at:

www.tomdefreston.co.uk

R J Dent’s work can be found at www.rjdent.com

Sade: Sex and Death – The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists (translated by R J Dent)

August 22, 2014

 

SS&D - RJD

SADE: SEX and DEATH

The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists

Edited by Candice Black

Cover Art: René Magritte – La Gâcheuse (The Bungler) 1935

Translated into English by R J Dent

 

“SADE IS SURREALIST IN SADISM”

André Breton, Surrealist Manifesto (1924)

 

The Marquis de Sade (1740–1814), best known for his violent, erotic novels, such as 120 Days of Sodom and Justine, was also one of the key inspirational figures identified by André Breton in his Surrealist Manifestos. De Sade’s importance to the Surrealists and their close affiliates is reflected in the sheer volume of art and writing dedicated to, or inspired by, his life, philosophy, and writings. Sade documents this body of Surrealist work, including many key texts and bizarre and erotic images never before assembled in one volume.  Included in Sade: Sex and Death are more than fifty rarely seen transgressive illustrations by some of the most famous names associated with Surrealism, including Dalí, Hans Bellmer, Magritte, André Masson, and Man Ray. The book also features analytical texts by writers of the period such as Bataille, Breton, Bunuel, Eluard, and Klossowski.

 

Also included is the first-ever English translation (by R J Dent) of ‘The Divine Marquis’ by Guillaume Apollinaire, which was the first modernist appraisal of Sade and remains one of the best concise biographies of its subject, and “Sade and the Roman Noir” by scholar Maurice Heine, in which Heine posits Sade as inventor of the gothic novel. Putting the works in context is an extensive history by Candice Black that details the relationship between the Surrealists and Sade.

 

The Marquis de Sade was one of the key figures identified by André Breton in his Surrealist Manifestos as inspirational to the whole Surrealist movement. Sade’s importance to the Surrealists and their close affiliates is reflected in the sheer volume of their art and writing dedicated to, or inspired by, his life, philosophy and work.

 

Sade: Sex and Death documents this body of work, and features many key texts as well as a host of bizarre and erotic Surrealist images never before assembled in one volume.

 

Including texts, paintings, photography and drawings by: Guillaume Apollinaire, Georges Bataille, Hans Bellmer, André Breton, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí, Robert Desnos , Paul Eluard, Max Ernst, Leonor Fini, Maurice Heine, Valentine Hugo, Pierre Klossowski, Felix Labisse, René Magritte, André Masson, Roberto Matta, Man Ray, Toyen, Clovis Trouille and others.

 

CONTENTS

 

Candice Black: Sade and Surrealism: An Illustrated History

Guillaume Apollinaire: The Divine Marquis (Trans. R J Dent)

Georges Bataille: The Use Value of De Sade (Trans. Allan Stoekl)    

Maurice Heine: De Sade and the Gothic Novel (Trans. R J Dent)

Pierre Klossowski: A Destructive Philosophy

Andre Masson: Notes on the Sadistic Imagination (Trans. R J Dent)        

Paul Eluard: Sade: A Revolutionary Intelligence (Trans. R J Dent)

 

SOLAR EROTIK ARCHIVE:

 

SADE: SEX and DEATH

The Divine Marquis and the Surrealists

Edited by Candice Black

Translated into English by R J Dent

ISBN-13: 978-0-9820464-9-4

 

Available from:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sade-Divine-Marquis-Surrealists-Archive/dp/0982046499

http://www.amazon.com/Sade-Divine-Marquis-Surrealists-Archive/dp/0982046499

http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/distributed/S/bo11334062.html

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

 

www.rjdent.com

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is 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-lautr-amont-1632973.html

 

 

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 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

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.

190

It is incredible that it has survived for so long.

 

Herculaneum

 

 

Herculaneum Art

(c) R J Dent 2013

http://www.rjdent.com