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Zone by Guillaume Apollinaire
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Zone by Guillaume Apollinaire
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Nov 24, 2015 | ISBN 9781590179246

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“Ron Padgett’s translation from the French is pitch perfect and dazzling.” —Deborah Levy, The Guardian, “Best Summer Books 2018”

“How well does Padgett apply these laudable [translation] precepts in this book? In two words: amazingly well. When I read the poems in French, I kept thinking “Now how can you possibly put that into English?” Then I looked at the facing text. And thought, to paraphrase Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, “By God, he’s got it! He’s really got it!” It’s like watching a little boat in high seas: how can it possibly make that wave, and that one? But it does, easily: it just floats up and over them. Padgett makes it look easy. We translators know nothing is harder than that.” —David Ball, Translation Review

“In Zone, Selected Poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, Ron Padgett demonstrates that translators should be willing to sometimes mistranslate in order to revivify a text’s more distinctive formal characteristics. Idiosyncrasies and dalliances abound in Padgett’s judicious sampling (as they do in Apollinaire’s oeuvre)…One of the joys of reading Zone is discovering the utter range of Padgett’s stylings as both translator and poet…Zone contains Apollinaire’s ambiguous vapors and punchy crystallizations alike, though it also succeeds in materializing what we love most about Padgett.” —Dylan Furcall, BOMB

“Padgett takes liberties, but he has given deep thought to them and he offers, in his introduction, a detailed discussion of the challenges that he has faced in the fifty-odd years that he has devoted to this project. Whenever a choice needs to be made between meaning and melody, he tends to opt for the latter, successfully bringing out as much of Apollinaire’s music as possible.” —John Taylor, ArtsFuse

“The one poet of our time who, in lightness and depth of inspiration, in spontaneity and clarity of expression… can stand beside Sappho, Anacreon, Alcaeus.” —The American Poetry Review

“One of the most fascinating and elusive figures of modern French poetry.” —Scott Bates, French Review

“Apollinaire’s distinction lies in his being the first poet of our age who is ‘modern’ and popular at the same time, modern in his many technical and thematic innovations and popular in his simple directness of speech.” —The Kenyon Review

Praise for Guillaume Apollinaire:
“The poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire is like no other: clear, full of light, bright with movement, with the transparency of flowing water. Even from the chalk trenches of the First World War, it sings like love, compassionate and friendly, in a French the language had only dreamed of before he wrote.”—Translation and Literature
Praise for Ron Padgett’s translations:
“A superb translation! Ron Padgett, himself an important poet, catches precisely the French poet’s rhythms, his colloquialisms, his racy diction and emotional resonances.”—Marjorie Perloff
“No praise can be too high for Ron Padgett’s translations.”—Dominic Di Bernardi, The Washington Post Book World

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents
Translator’s Preface
The Pont Mirabeau
The Song of the Badly-Loved
Poem Read at the Wedding of André Salmon
Inscription for the Tomb of the Painter Henri Rousseau Customs Inspector
The House of the Dead
The White Snow
[Untitled] (“Come along”)
La Grenouillère
The Gypsy
The Rediscovered Lock
Hunting Horns
The Lady
The Traveler
In La Santé
The Brasier
The Autumn Crocuses
The Women
Before the Movies
Trip to Paris
Advertisement for the House of Walk-Over
The Musician of Saint Merri
The Windows
A Phantom Made of Clouds
Monday Rue Christine
Across Europe
It’s Raining
The Little Car
The Nine Doors of Your Body
The Seasons
The Pretty Redhead
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