Synopses & Reviews
Bilingual Edition. Translated from the French by Donald Revell. With perfect pitch for contemporary readers, Donald Revell's new translation of The Illuminations offers all the immediacy, hallucinatory surreality, and wit of the intimate particularity that secured Rimbaud's position as a major poet renowned for his strangely seductive power and innocence. Rimbaud was a dangerous and exhilarating force whose break with literary forms and conventions changed forever the way poems would be read and written. Published with the French on facing pages and with an insightful afterword by the translator, Donald Revell plunges readers into the heart of Rimbaud's mysterious, revelatory beauty. This lucid and lively translation of a seminal work will show current readers of English all the ways that Rimbaud's incandescence remains essential and relevant today.
"Celebrated poet Revell (The Bitter Withy) received the 2007 PEN USA Translation Award for his ravishing take on Rimbaud's A Season in Hell. Rendered into English with utmost sympathy and flare, this bilingual edition of Rimbaud's prose masterpiece is sure to receive comparable acclaim. Considered by many to be the infamous French wunderkind's highest achievement, the book's (mostly) prose poems present the still teenage poet's acrobatic efforts to resist the stranglehold of habit, logic and bourgeois respectability: 'I've strung ropes from steeple to steeple; garlands from window to window; golden chains from star to star, and I'm dancing.' Revell's version is no more or less accessible than previous translations, and dips into the contemporary idiom are thankfully infrequent and unobtrusive. What distinguishes Revell's work is its exquisite, carefully modulated musicality. His phrasing is rich and fluid ('The soft perfume of the stars and of the sky and of everything drifts down from the hilltop') or crisp and strident ('Unsought air and unsought world. Life./ Was that it, then?/ And the dream grows cold'), in perfect keeping with the protean, inestimably influential original, making this among the finest of its English translations yet produced. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
With perfect pitch for contemporary audiences, this new translation offers all the immediacy, hallucinatory surrealism, and wit that secured Arthur Rimbaud's esteemed position. As a major poet renowned for his strangely seductive power and innocence, Rimbaud was a dangerous and exhilarating force whose break with literary forms and conventions is aptly displayed in this volume. Published with the French on facing pages and an insightful afterword, this compilation plunges into the heart of Rimbaud's mysterious, revelatory beauty. This is a lucid and lively translation of a seminal work that remains essential and relevant to this day.
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"What distinguishes Revell's [translation of The Illuminations] is its exquisite, carefully modulated musicality . . . in perfect keeping with the protean, inestimably influential original, making this among the finest of its English translations yet produced." Publishers Weekly"What a blessing to be given Donald Revell's revelling again in the work of Rimbaud, this time in The Illuminations, Rimbaud's ecstatic vision of life on earth and its end. His 'further gospel' (following that of Jesus of Nazareth) proclaims not hope, but happiness. And all in Revell's brilliantly buoyant natural language, and, as in A Season in Hell, the gift of his risky and devoted Translator's Afterword." Jean Valentine, poet"I have yet to come across a better living translator working in French today, and I wholeheartedly recommend Revell’s translations to francophone and English-speaking readers alike." Prick of the Spindle Web Magazine