Poetry. Bilingual Edition. Translated from the French by Gustaf Sobin. When Gustaf Sobin arrived in France at the age of twenty-seven in 1963, he befriended the poet René Char, who, as Sobin writes, "taught me my trade." "René Char taught me, first, to read particulars: that the meticulously observed detail, drawn from nature, could provide the key to the deepest reaches of the imaginary. One and the other, the visible and the invisible, were but the interface of a single, singular, vibratory surface: that of the poem itself." THE BRITTLE AGE AND RETURNING UPLAND are two volumes from Char's work of the mid to late 1960s that Sobin chose to translate in full. Here, side by side with Char's French text, it is possible to see Sobin building his poetic vocabulary within and as a result of the practice of his mentor, "scrupulously tracking the very trajectories of desire, [leading] one onto the sonorous landscapes of the revelatory."
Song-Reviewed by Teal Gardner at OctopusMartin Balgach in Rain TaxiRon SillimanJames Stotts @ Galatea ResurrectsVáclav Paris @ Jacket2
René Char (1907-1988) was one of the most important modern French poets. Admired by Heidegger for his poetic philosophy, he was a hero of the French Resistance and in the 1960s a militant anti-nuclear protester. Associated with the Surrealist movement for several years and a close friend of many painters—notably Braque, Giacometti, and Picasso—he wrote poetry that confronted major 20th century moral, political, and artistic concerns. Author City: Paris FRA