I’m delighted to announce the launch of my translation of Philippe Beck’s Didactic Poetries launched on November 1 – featured on the Guardian Book Section via Asymptote’s Translation Tuesdays. From the Univocal Publishing website:
One of France’s most important contemporary poet’s inaugural publication in the English Language.
Complex, haunting, imaginative and profoundly literary, Didactic Poetries is Beck’s response to Schiller’s statement: “We are still waiting for a didactic poem where thought itself would be and would remain poetic,” and Hegel’s claim that, “strictly speaking, didactic poetry isn’t poetry.” For the acclaimed French poet, Philippe Beck, Schiller’s task of attempting a didactic poetry remains as vital today as it was for Schiller’s time. Is there a way to construct a poetry built and chiseled, hammered and stitched, from out of past narratives and poetries, condensed in such a manner as to make new poetic verses sing new truths? Forging a singular attempt to echo the poets and tales of a bygone age, Beck’s didactic poetries perhaps carve out the path for renewing a poetic thought as a quasi-musical atmosphere where the reader can glimpse “A small country ‘sculpted’ as spiritual, supposed to be so; at home in the Bygone Country. Alluvial layers so light, that weather disappeared, weary of variety a priori.” Beck’s deftly textured poems interweave contemporary commentary with cultural, historical, literary, and philosophical allusions, drawing the reader into a world of lived poetic experience.
Philippe Beck is a poet as well as professor of philosophy at the University of Nantes. He has published over 15 volumes of poetry as well as a number of theoretical works including, most recently, Contre un Boileau: Un art poétique (Fayard, 2015). Beck was awarded the French Academy’s Grand Prix de Poésie (Grand Poetry Prize) for his body of works in 2015.
Nicola Marae Allain is an associate professor in Arts & Cultural Studies at Empire State College, State University of New York.
Here’s a screenshot of my Tweets that day: