John Ashbery; Edited by Rosanne Wasserman and Eugene Richie
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
An essential, vibrant collection of masterful translations by one of the finest poets at work today
Collected French Translations: Prose, the second volume in a landmark two-volume selection of John Ashbery’s translations, focuses on prose writing. Ashbery’s own prose writings and engagement with prose writers—through translations, essays, and criticism—have had a profound impact on the cultural landscape of the past half century. This book presents his versions of, among others, the classic French fairy tale “The White Cat” by Marie-Catherine d’Aulnoy, as well as works by such innovative masters as Raymond Roussel and Giorgio de Chirico. Here are all of Roussel’s Documents to Serve as an Outline and extracts from his Impressions of Africa; selections from Georges Bataille’s darkly erotic first novella, L’abbé C; Antonin Artaud’s correspondence with the writer Jacques Rivière; Salvador Dalí on Willem de Kooning’s art; Jacques Dupin on Giacometti; and key theoretical and conceptual texts by Odilon Redon, Jean Hélion, Iannis Xenakis, and Marcelin Pleynet. Several of these twenty-nine prose pieces, by seventeen fiction writers, playwrights, artists, musicians, and critics, are previously unpublished or have been long unavailable. Many are modern classics, such as Pierre Reverdy’s Haunted House. This book provides fresh insight into the range of French cultural influence on Ashbery’s life and work in literature and the arts.
“Meticulously faithful yet nimbly inventive . . . We are fortunate that John Ashbery has . . . brought to it such care and imaginative resourcefulness.” —Lydia Davis, New York Times Book Review