“revue inclassable et porteuse de mouvements”

à propos du Black Herald
note parue dans “cahier critique de poésie” n° 26 (décembre 2013)
http://www.cipmarseille.com/publication_fiche.php?id=be66b55c8fbe31d67189b17782f5c31c

 

http://blackheraldpress.wordpress.com/magazine/

 

CCP 26

“Une belle découverte”, à propos de W.S. Graham

W.S. Graham, 1958

W.S. Graham, 1958

“Publié en septembre 2013, ce recueil de poèmes choisis est la première traduction de W.S. Graham en français, à l’initiative de l’éditeur bilingue Black Herald Press, et grâce aux deux traductrices Anne-Sylvie Homassel et Blandine Longre.
Une occasion rare de découvrir, dans une édition impeccable et totalement bilingue (même les préface, postface et chronologie sont présentées dans les deux langues), ce poète écossais mort en 1986, longtemps assimilé peu ou prou aux néo-romantiques (Dylan Thomas), qu’il fréquente beaucoup en effet dans l’immédiat après-guerre, avant d’émigrer vers la Cornouaille, y alternant les longs séjours avec de brèves incursions londoniennes jusqu’à son décès, étant devenu entre temps, en quelque sorte, le “protégé” éditorial de T.S. Eliot.”
(Hugues Robert, Librairie Charybde, Paris 12e)

Lire la note de lecture

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Librairie Charybde
129 rue de Charenton
75012 Paris
http://www.charybde.fr/

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LES DIALOGUES OBSCURS
W.S. GRAHAM

Poèmes choisis
traduit de l’anglais par Anne-Sylvie Homassel & Blandine Longre
Introduction de Michael Snow / Postface de Paul Stubbs, recueil bilingue

Black Herald Press, Septembre 2013

174 pages – 14 € / £ 12 / $18 / ISBN  978-2-919582-07-5

commander l’ouvrage / order the book

à propos du Black Herald, livre organique (par Michel Gerbal)

Nous reproduisons ci-dessous un texte de Michel Gerbal, publié sur son blog.

“La revue le Black Herald  constitue, de chacun de ses numéros, jusqu’à celui-ci, le #4 inclu,  un livre. C’était frappant déjà pour le numéro précédent: la perception immédiate d’un ou plusieurs fils à la fois suffisamment souterrains et éloquents pour faire de ce qui, sans eux, n’auraient été qu’une mise en côte-à-côte de textes, un livre. Nommer ces fils n’a rien d’évident – à l’instar d’un bon livre dont le fil directeur ne se laisse pas résumer. Il y avait pourtant une atmosphère de cendres, de séismes plus ou moins enfouis, une violence à l’oeuvre ou à la question, une rumeur de destruction, post-apocalyptique, jusque au coeur des tableaux de famille.
Les textes du Black Herald se déploient autour d’une problématique – qui n’a rien d’un jeu d’intellectuel, et pour les meilleurs textes – seulement incidement “littéraires” -, une charge affective faudrait-il dire plus justement: ce qui constitue bien le propre d’un livre – digne de ce nom – un livre qui n’est pas une thèse.
Pas de doute à mes yeux: si les artisans du Black Herald parviennent ainsi à composer un tel ensemble organique, c’est que eux-même sont des créateurs – et qu’un créateur ne peut pas faire autrement que répondre de manière quasiment instinctive à l’injonction d’ordonner-et-faire-sonner les éléments dont il dispose ( et qu’il ne choisit pas nécéssairement ) de la manière la plus complexe possible. Ce qui revient à dire: en évitant la banalité d’un thème trop explicité, du chemin d’avance connu. La grande littérature est toujours complexe – à ne pas confondre avec compliqué: elle est complexe d’une complexité comparable à celle d’un système immunitaire, qui se rend apte à répondre à des stimuli externes de formes inconnues à lui-même, des formes qu’il n’a jamais rencontré, en nombre et en variété immenses et mouvants – et ce à partir de quelques éléments limités en nombre: la vraie littérature est une invention de la complexité à partir d’une simplicité relative. Et le résultat de cette opération – un résultat nommé “poème” – est l’équivalent psychique d’une machine organique capable d’inter-réagir aux sollicitations, inouïes, de chaque lecteur, à partir d’une quantité forcément limitée de mots et de phrases. De même, l’assemblage psychique du lecteur est provoqué par le poème, caressé et menacé par lui, et lire – cela consiste à désirer d’abord, puis répondre aux sollicitations du livre, de telle manière qu’entre les combinaisons de l’un et de l’autre, il se passe à peu près ce qui se passe entre deux escargots, chacun à la fois mâle et femelle, au moment de copuler: qui est l’un, qui est l’autre, à cet instant, qui pénètre, qui pénétré, ou encore, semblable, lors d’un orage d’été,  aux grandes décharges éléctriques au sein des masses nuageuses.
Le Black Herald n’est pas une revue ( un livre ) facile. Ce n’est pas tant que chaque texte soit en fait volontairement abscons; ni même, la difficulté – à mes yeux passionnante mais réelle – du multilinguisme. Mais c’est que chaque texte choisi est suffisamment exigeant et maitrisé pour imposer sa propre approche, ses propres rythmes de lecture, son univers particulier. C’est aussi, et surtout, que l’on sent bien ce ou ces fils dont je parlais au début. La perception à la fois vague et tenace de cette unité rend d’autant plus intrigants, provocateurs, les sautes ” stylistique” d’une partie à l’autre de l’ensemble. Or c’est précisément ce qui fait du Black Herald jusqu’à présent à chaque fois un vrai livre: un ensemble avec failles et agglomérats, et – tout porteur de souffle et de sens. Et par “souffle” et “sens” – ( mais je développerais cela peut-être une autre fois ), ce n’est pas métaphoriquement que je l’entends. “

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The Black Herald
Literary magazine – Revue de littérature

Issue #4 – October 2013 – Octobre 2013
164 pages – 15€ / £12.90 / $20 – ISBN 978-2-919582-06-8 (ISSN 2266-1913)

Poetry, short fiction, prose, essays, translations.
Poésie, fiction courte, prose, essais, traductions.

With / avec Steve Ely, Pierre Cendors, Edward Gauvin, Paul B. Roth, Jean-Pierre Longre, Rosemary Lloyd, Boris Dralyuk, Paul Stubbs, Georgina Tacou, John Lee, Cristián Vila Riquelme, Philippe Muller, Michael Lee Rattigan, Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé, Vasily Kamensky, David Shook, Oliver Goldsmith, Michel Gerbal, Gary J. Shipley, Anthony Seidman, Fernando Pessoa, Cécile Lombard, Anne-Sylvie Salzman, Heller Levinson, Jorge Ortega, Blandine Longre et des essais sur / and essays about Robert Walser, Arthur Rimbaud, Raymond Queneau, E.M. Cioran. ImagesRaphaël Lugassy, Pierre Cendors. Design: Sandrine Duvillier.

Pour en savoir plus (contributeurs, sommaire, etc.)

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“Des mots noyés lancés dans le noir”, W.S. Graham – article de Romain Verger

W.S. Graham, late 1950s

W.S. Graham, late 1950s

“La poésie de Graham est l’expérience intime d’une solitude éblouie par les rayons lunaires, une aventure d’être qui se mène, pour se faire jour à elle-même, dans la nuit de la conscience. Combien de poèmes aux accents rimbaldien de bateau ivre, de déluge et de voyance insatisfaite ou avortée, évoquent le thème de la pêche nocturne? Un motif qu’il tire vraisemblablement de sa propre expérience de marin. La mer et la nuit, associées à de multiples reprises, font même figures de parents symboliques : ainsi de la nuit«qui [l]e nomme jusqu’à l’os» et de la mer «qui [l]e prononce». Dans ces moments de silence et de lumière paradoxale, où le temps se suspend – temps mort où l’œil et la seconde s’écarquillent – , on le voit sonder les abysses de l’expérience esthétique, traquant«l’euphorie d’être vivant dans le langage.» La figure romantique du marin affrontant «les embruns de son esprit» et les «paquets hurlants d’écume», devient à ses yeux la métaphore exacte du poète. Poète, celui qui brave la tempête et tutoie la noyade, repoussant les limites de l’être, tout à la fois Ulysse, Sisyphe et Orphée exorcisant indéfiniment sa propre mort dans l’écriture” (Romain Verger, L’Anagnoste, novembre 2013)

Lire l’article

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LES DIALOGUES OBSCURS
W.S. GRAHAM

Poèmes choisis
traduit de l’anglais par Anne-Sylvie Homassel & Blandine Longre
Introduction de Michael Snow / Postface de Paul Stubbs, recueil bilingue

Black Herald Press, Septembre 2013

174 pages – 14 € / £ 12 / $18 / ISBN  978-2-919582-07-5

commander l’ouvrage / order the book

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AN ESSAY ON THE WRITINGS OF E.M. CIORAN (by Paul Stubbs)

Cioran“All of his life Cioran negated, if not banished, the idea of building for himself a philosophical ‘system’, realizing at an early age that the universe was too far imperturbable to be reduced to man’s own mortification. In his essay ‘Valéry Facing his idols’ he wrote: ‘if we were to translate the philosophers’ lucubrations into normal language, what would be left of them?’ Such premonitions reduced Cioran’s own mind to the size and space of a ‘confessional-box’, an unsolicited and shameless disclosure of who he really was. Each word, a drop of blood, reflected his unnameable lassitude, the inexhaustible sameness of his voice, his always private predilections for nothing but his own interior world-shapes. For this writer there was no difference between the detonation of a bomb and that of a full-stop: he accepted everything, his life a constant ‘new’ death entering into the graveyard of his speech. To live separate from the rest of mankind is not to be a destroyer of worlds, but of the spleen, he who in disparaging human beings acted upon a scarcely credible stage. Each aphorism in The Temptation to Exist for example is a far too-recent disaster, an ethical impasse, where inside each word we hear only a teleological clock ticking, and where the ancient ‘Rules’ and laws of matter have begun to subside in the dust of his own brain.” (Paul Stubbs)

read the essay

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“Flesh” by Paul Stubbs (reviewed by Paul Sutton)

“Challenging concepts, developed into a project-length exploration. A rarity in contemporary poetry; even the experimental scene is patchier in these than it should be. Paul Stubbs’ poetry is full of such ambition–pursued with a terrifying metaphysical and theological energy. It comes from an almost forgotten (and intensely unfashionable) idea of poetry as the threshold, the outer limit, for linguistic exploration of self and existence. The war-zone between transcendence and decay: metaphysical, ontological, eschatological. (…) The usual English comparisons simply don’t apply. No post-ironic surrealism, no still-born ‘experiments in form’, no drip-dry epiphanies by tremulous yet sickly seers. Even Hill seems less intense – almost anecdotal – in comparison. It may sound absurd, but Milton is the only English reference I can make – even then, there’s no narrative element in Stubbs. But the poem’s almost symphonic opening reminded me of Lucifer’s (and co-conspirators’) devastated awakening, the stumbling slow dawn of the fallen angels.”

 (Paul Sutton, Stride Magazine)

Read the article

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Flesh

Flesh

Flesh
Paul Stubbs

introduction by Ingrid Soren
Black Herald Press, May 2013
130×170 – 54 pages – 10 € / £ 8.50 / $13
ISBN  978-2-919582-05-1

Order the book / Commander l’ouvrage

LES DIALOGUES OBSCURS de W.S. GRAHAM, lecture de Nathalie Riera

Les Dialogues obscurs

Les Dialogues obscurs

Un article de Nathalie Riera.

“Pour écrire, il y a des lumières et des obscurités à emprunter de tous côtés, des dialogues à saisir, qui nous parlent d’Etre et de non-être, peut-être pour nous inciter à davantage de rêveries, de relâchements. Ces dialogues obscurs n’ont rien de mystique : ils nous laissent entrevoir une autre dimension de nous-mêmes, issus d’un ici et maintenant non dénué de singularité. La poésie ne doit pas rester parmi les mots. Elle doit emprunter au monde réel, et non au rempart de la pensée conceptuelle.” (Nathalie Riera)

Pour lire l’article

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LES DIALOGUES OBSCURS
W.S. GRAHAM

Poèmes choisis
traduit de l’anglais par Anne-Sylvie Homassel & Blandine Longre
Introduction de Michael Snow / Postface de Paul Stubbs, recueil bilingue

Black Herald Press, Septembre 2013

174 pages – 14 € / £ 12 / $18 / ISBN  978-2-919582-07-5

commander l’ouvrage / order the book

Paul Stubbs reviews ‘Rilke in Paris’

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RILKE IN PARIS
Maurice Betz (Translated from the French by Will Stone, Hesperus Press, 2012)

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“Rilke, on earth, lived a life akin to a pre-natal being, one whose sensations in existence remained as homogenous and pure as his time spent in the womb. He rejected birth and death as a consequence for existence, determining that this paradox was the reason behind which he would discover the absolute, i.e. through his own modifications of reality. Jean-Paul Sartre writing of Kierkegaard said ‘The beginning of the thinker’s existence is analogous to a birth. This is not a rejection but a displacement of the beginning. Before birth there was non-being; then comes the leap…’. Every morning in Paris, amid the ash-heaps of dreams, Rilke awoke to the metaphysical and limbless stump of his own still absent body. He saw the world as if between the parenthesis of each new death, whether one of his own or that of another human being.” (Paul Stubbs)

read the review

 

Greer Mansfield interviews Paul Stubbs, poet & editor of The Black Herald / Bookslut, Oct. 2012

“Glancing at my map of current English-language poetry, one of the most tantalizing regions is one that — at least in my school of cartography — is centered around a magazine called the Black Herald. Edited by poets Paul Stubbs and Blandine Longre, it is a concourse for strong and original English-language poetry, publishing interesting new poets like Will Stone, Mark Wilson, and Siddhartha Bose. It has also published more established writers (Clayton Eshleman being an example), and it maintains a constant dialogue with the dead. Or perhaps more accurately: the “dead,” because in its pages the likes of Hart Crane, W.S. Graham, Cesar Vallejo, Georges Rodenbach, Osip Mandelstam, August Stramm, and James Joyce are blazingly alive in the company of the newer writers. (…) In addition to editing a quality literary magazine and publishing interesting writers new and old, Stubbs happens to be one of our day’s most striking and original English-language poets. His poems are metaphysical but visceral; they are often written in a jagged syntax, but they carry themselves in a rich, full-voiced music.”

(Greer Mansfield, Bookslut, October 2012)

To read the interview

http://www.bookslut.com/features/2012_10_019467.php

Will Stone reviews ‘Ex Nihilo’

Ex Nihilo, by Paul Stubbs
Black Herald Press, 30 september 2010
120×160 – 46 pages – 8 euros
ISBN  978-2-919582-01-3

Order the book / Commander l’ouvrage

To read an excerpt / Pour lire un extrait

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Paul Stubbs’s Ex Nihilo is a pocket sized rumble of literary thunder, the first feelers of a language storm that makes the susceptible reader who first opens it, look up at the sky ominously. Holding a copy of Ex Nihilo, the reader is obliged to repeatedly take new bearings, constantly rechecking a mental compass whose needles quiver wildly in all directions, for the long poem within is unlike anything else found on the bookshelf of a smugly stocked Waterstones. In fact it won’t be found on the shelf of Waterstones at all, because it is far too radical and incendiary to sit alongside the bloated dignitaries and carefully positioned courtiers of the Bloodaxe, Faber and Carcanet fiefdoms. The infernal heat given off by Stubbs’s constantly firing cannons means this book must be held in a secure area, away from the carefully tended prize beds and gentle rustling of self assurance inherent to the poetry ‘business’, the poetry ‘society’, the poetry ‘school’, the poetry ‘prom’, poetry ‘please’, the increasingly predictable production line of the poetry ‘industry’ in the United Kingdom. No, it must be held in the head only, and from there a realisation of Ex Nihilo’s importance departs and like a flaming beacon lit from peak to peak, communicates from one reader to another. This is an underground book because it does not seek to flatter tastes already established, rather it seeks to leave a skin even as it grows a new one, to lift the bark suddenly, catastrophically, so the creatures beneath are forced to run madly, blindly into the new light that interrupts their slumber, and that’s the way Stubbs wants it. Stubbs’s is a restless deception-proof poetry that keeps moving on from the page, or indeed off the page, as if this white space is a laughable plot on which to establish a permanent settlement. ‘Only a word thin fragility, this page, bearing again only my own footprints…’ For here passes a tireless vagrant with a weighty sack of religious doubt and existential horror knocking at door after door, where he has been assured a meaningful response will be forthcoming, but behind which only an icy wind blows…

EX NIHILO

The poet Stubbs has two significant previous collections to his name. The Theological Museum, 2006 (Flambard) and The Icon Maker, 2008 (Arc). In these works Stubbs cemented his reputation for unconventional ‘unscripted’ unremittingly challenging forms. These sometimes sublime sometimes disturbing poetic architectures, over which deep space blizzards seem to continually rake, cast a sometimes majestic sometimes bitter beam into a future void of darkness, a beam whose exact trajectory and final target defies any coherent conclusion. Ex Nihilo should be passed from hand to hand and by word of mouth. It should go under cover of the night in which it was born, so as to avoid being stopped and searched by the poetry society police. This book is so far from the habitual workshop ‘facilitated’ fare, with their deathly diamond precision and priestly obedience to nurture a language they know and feel safe in, which in fact screams to be let loose and to turn savagely on its creator. Paul Stubbs states with visionary confidence and an absence of pretension at the outset of his poem, ‘I begin alone, waiting for my eyeball, like a sun, to rise, and cast out my own shadow from the shape of everything…’ and he ends thus ‘And so imagining how my slack breathing it still sways the grass of a world I no longer have access to, I think on…’ For Paul Stubbs is above all else helplessly corporeally integrated with his poetic utterances. His body and his mind are locked in a fusion that has somehow through virtual existential annihilation constructed a fantastic makeshift raft of language, a useful object to support his mind for the duration, with branches felled from the forest of eventual silence, a platform on which to lie exhausted and drift through whatever remains, after the sanctioned insanity and myopia of his epoch finally give way. One can only think of Klaus Kinski as the jungle inexorably closes in during the finale of the Herzog film ‘Aguirre Wrath of God’, staggering about his half drowned raft and holding up a tiny monkey in his gloved hand to heaven. Paul Stubbs is one of the few genuinely original poets operating at the moment, and his work deserves a wider distribution. Stubbs’s next collection of poems concerns the paintings of Francis Bacon as interpreted through Stubbs’s vision. An enthralling prospect indeed.

Will Stone, first published in Agenda, Vol 46 No 3 (April 2012)

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Will Stone reviews ‘Clarities’

Clarities, by Blandine Longre
Black Herald Press, 30 september 2010
120×160 – 48 pages – 8 euros
ISBN  978-2-919582-00-6

Order the book / Commander l’ouvrage

To read excerpts / pour lire des extraits 

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Blandine Longre is a distinguished French translator of English texts, but here in her first collection Clarities, she has turned to poetry. But interestingly and crucially, Longre has not chosen to write in her native tongue, but in the English language, which therefore is one thing, but not the only thing that makes this poetry significant and worthy of English scrutiny. How many of our native English poets of either sex can even begin to attempt to hold a conversation in a foreign language, let alone write poetry? A handful at best. Of course Rilke famously wrote some four hundred poems in French, but none of them are considered to be amongst his most revered and celebrated works. But Rilke was a spectacular exception, a manifest aberration lodged in an impossible to locate space between objectivity and inwardness, whose true nature has still not been properly established, despite the prodigious amount of secondary literature devoted to him.

Clarities

For most poets there is no recourse but to launch forth in the language they first mewled as, armed with their embryonic calling, they exited the womb. But Longre has other ideas. She rejects French as the vehicle for her unconscious linguistically screened utterances and produces a collection of poems of extraordinary imposition and depth in the Anglophone. She is as Anne Sylvie Homassel suggests, ‘A gifted intruder into a language which is not her own…’ Furthermore these poems seem to owe little to modern English poets, but take their cue rather from the likes of John Donne, a reverence for whom Longre makes no secret of. She includes at the opening a quote which is perhaps most prescient in terms of her own poetic. ‘For his art did express a quintessence, even from nothingness…’ On the rear of the book there are two blurbs, one from Paul Stubbs who states ‘Her ‘subject’ is only the incontrovertible will to spew forth the chippings of a language not yet fully realised…’ Yes and we might well say the same about him! (see above). But what Stubbs means in his mechanical shredder metaphor, is that Longre takes the neat and complete language bricks as they are offloaded at Calais and deliberately smashes them, then reconstructs them to make another kind of brick which will better advance her own personal structure. Instead of following documented paths in the construction of this language, she has it work hard for its expressive credentials, goading it to make it perform in ways it could never imagine, to make it perform with authenticity for her alone. Words end up trussed, bound together and thrown mercilessly into the sea of the page. Sink or swim instructs the poet. ‘Notimeness’, ‘clock-mauled’ ‘steel-etched’ ‘oughts-to-be’ and the wonderful ‘twitchy-thorny’, are all thrown over the side. Either they adapt or die. In this sudden and treacherous struggle for survival, a new language forces its way through the shell to the initial distrust of the page and a metaphysical breakthrough of a kind is achieved.

Longre does not want to express herself with someone else’s borrowed voice or appear on the stage of her feelings dressed in hand me down clothes. Therefore she always makes and dons her own haunting attire. ‘I am a field, a realm and a route / an expanse of everdark crops / awoken and unadorned and brambled / yet hardly maimed by the too still rivulets of reality…’ From ‘Avoiding the Blackest Eye of Might’. Longre seeks to transmogrify the ardours and ecstasies of the flesh into language. Within this ambition is attendant pain, loss and a grim awareness of the scraps of transcendence that may be gathered in, despite relationship implosion. In ‘Épouvante’, ironically a poem titled in French, she writes the morbidly majestic and almost phantasmagorical line, ‘Wreck-born snakes refusing to embrace their wet doom…’ and later in the same poem the uncanny ‘Aside a vertigo, the secret pledge of their cluttered selves: / built on an acridity of presages and their own / bisecting truth – horrendous.’ What is one to make of this? The inevitable response to Longre’s poetry from a UK audience would be that it is ‘difficult’ and ‘hermetic’, or that it is ‘surreal’, ‘chaotic’, ‘confusing’, ‘delirious’ etc. But this shuffling of the dreary pack of suspicion should be music to Longre’s ears, because it is wholly predictable and perhaps necessary. These are all traditional knee-jerk protective mechanisms that the island nation employs to quickly face its pointed stakes out to anything that may cause it to lose equilibrium.

Longre’s poetry, if it was allowed entry, would be a French fox with Anglo-Saxon teeth, let loose in an English henhouse. Confusion and panic must ensue when lines like ‘Alien to its own words (meaning-gouged, spewed out, led astray) / a gorgoned mouth turns its clammy / stares beyond my charred eyeballs, / at the flying dampness of / those medean tears of mine.’ peer hungrily around the door. But the power here is not so much in the horror soaked central section which almost shreds itself to vacancy in the combines of inner rage, but in the indefinable beauty of the last line ‘at the flying dampness of / those medean tears of mine’ which seems to soften and slow like a brake in its alliteration and rhythm the harsh imagery that precedes it. There is something lurking within this seemingly brazen poetry, which is tender and precious, like an injured bird you kept in a cardboard box that you hide from others and desperately hope will not die. Though there are influences of Sexton and Plath here and these poems could be said to be aligned to a woman’s pain and toil endured by the blundering machinations of the opposite sex, these poems are more about a wider broken trust, the disintegration of promises and aspirations, which could apply to anyone. Therefore they are for everyone. So it is to be hoped that these white hot poems, which resist, with good reason, categorisation or critical platitude, will find readers who can appreciate their unorthodoxy and existential agility. Or will the Anglophone reader once again revert to type and hold the foreigner at the turnpike for deigning to ‘re-speak’ their hallowed language? Perhaps Longre herself has glimpsed a possible future in that regard in the acerbic ‘heroism’ of the poem ‘Shame-faced’.

Will Stone, first published in Agenda, Vol 46 No 3 (April 2012)

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Other reviews 

Le BH2 vu par le Visage Vert

“Mais ce sont les œuvres — poèmes, nouvelles, essais — qui priment avec, pour seul commentaire, la traduction (puisque l’un des principes duBlack Herald est de publier tous ses textes au moins en français ou en anglais, quelle qu’en soit la langue originale, de toute façon toujours restituée.) Le seule exception, déjà citée, est l’introduction de Stubbs (on peut la lire ici), laquelle réaffirme la primauté des voix sur les auteurs eux-mêmes et préconise leur émergence, “sur la rive opposée à l’égotisme contemporain“. À cette lumière, et bien loin du narcissisme sans joie où s’embourbent nombre de revues ou de magazines littéraires, on ira donc, dans ce deuxième numéro du Black Herald, chercher des voix dont le seul point commun est probablement de ne jamais s’écouter parler (ce qui les rapproche, toutes poétiques qu’elles soient, de la littérature de genre si chère au Visage vert).”

à lire sur le blog du Visage Vert, revue et éditeur.

The Black Herald #2: Carbon based passion – Part 2 – by Lisa Thatcher

Second instalment of Lisa Thatcher’s review

“Language forms the imprint of our neural pathways in the carbon of our makeup. It is the power that reminds us chance and chaos only appear to be in control. The poets calling is to reach the place when the words only bare a family resemblance to each other. To find in each word, its own throbbing core, linked to all cores. The seed of an evolution of the human mind.”

to read the review

to read the first instalment

Oyez, oyez le noir héraut – par Frédéric Saenen

Fonder une revue de poésie, en misant de surcroît sur le polyglottisme, peut apparaître comme une entreprise insensée à l’époque actuelle ; un défi qui mise à la fois sur la confiance dans le support papier, sur la diffusion d’une parole exigeante et quintessenciée et sur une ouverture d’esprit à 180° – ce qui, dans le chef des contemporains, s’avère trop souvent une déclaration de principe plutôt qu’une authentique curiosité.

Le duo que forment Blandine Longre et Paul Stubbs a relevé le gant. Voici que leur Black Herald (le « Héraut noir », en référence peut-être au premier recueil du Péruvien César Vallejo, publié en 1919) s’avance, élégant et porteur d’illuminations à colporter. Le principe est fondé sur une dynamique simple : proposer des textes d’auteurs actuels ou passés dans leur langue d’origine et les traduire, tantôt en français, tantôt en anglais.

La deuxième livraison de cette jeune publication nous donne donc rendez-vous dans les couloirs de Babel et nous amène à de surprenantes découvertes. Ainsi de Dimíter Ánguelov, Bulgare exilé au Portugal qui livre dans la langue de Pessoa quelques pages de prose mordante, à la lisière du réalisme magique. Avec ses Petits films en prose, échos esthétiques de quelques paragraphes sur Jean Renoir ou Eisenstein, Jacques Sicard envisage chaque œuvre cinématographique comme « une singularité, à savoir une forme détachée de tout » et transmet subtilement l’intime perception qu’il en a reçue. John Taylor a quant à lui traduit des aphorismes de Georges Perros en anglais, dont celui-ci, qui pourrait tenir lieu de programme au Black Herald : « Le poème attrape toutes les maladies. Cobaye. Pour sauver le langage courant. » Et c’est sans compter l’ample équipée des Cavaliers de la nuit qu’évoque Laurence Werner David ou encore la très belle exploration des « territoires de l’absence » signée Jean-Baptiste Monat…

Les découragés d’office qui, à la feuilleter en hâte, ne verront qu’élitisme dans le parti pris de The Black Herald de se tenir au plus près du langage et des langues, passeront à côté d’une revue qui assume de se mettre pleinement au service de la littérature, en jouant son indispensable rôle de passeur. Passeur de mots, de vérités précaires, de risques aussi. Embarquement immédiat !

Frédéric SAENEN

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article paru dans le n°33 du Magazine des Livres (en kiosque)

The Black Herald, Literary magazine / revue de littérature, n°2, septembre 2011, 162 pages, 13,90 €. http://blackheraldpress.wordpress.com

The Black Herald #2: Freedom from the necessity of success – by Lisa Thatcher

“If anything properly defines the beautiful work collected in The Black Herald #2 it is anti-establishment. The editors need the writers to be great – no more than great – they must also lack self-consciousness. They must hint at their age and be a whiff of something forthcoming. None of this, claims Paul Stubbs in his excellent introductory essay, is available to be ‘taught’ in the odious literary classroom and he infers, can’t be taught at all. Paul’s cry is that of the sackcloth wearing wilderness prophet – a contemporary Elijah – his Ba’al the sanitized classroom conversation preaching ‘creativity’ – instead Paul demands the best of what a human creature can produce.  Paul wants none of the domestic security produced by marrying literature (Ahab) with capitalism (Jezebel) to produce works of comfort and sanctuary – the taming of  perspicacity. He stands, wielding the works of Nietzsche and Rimbaud, unkempt and wild, demanding the writer produce the work

“… out of his own reality – to the point at which he is afterwards unable to endure his own work.”Nietzsche.

Paul Stubbs wants blood. And nothing other than blood is an answer to literatures call.”

Lisa Thatcher

To read the review 

Le Black Herald dans Novo n°14

Un grand merci à Christophe Sedierta pour son article portant sur The Black Herald 1 – en page 74 du numéro 14 de NOVO, magazine culturel et artistique.

The Vortex of being

The Vortex of being’: Paul Stubbs writes about Clarities.

“If we were to search for influences in the work of Blandine Longre then we might well re-open Donne’s door, unlock the flesh and bone shackles of his ‘hold’ on all vertiginous and physical writing. Closer in unique spirit would be the Modernist poet Mina Loy and the ‘oneness’ of the vision of Else Lasker-Schüler, and certainly when Loy writes that ‘self is the covered entrance to Infinity’ it is hard not to think of the work here, for certainly the poetry of Longre is as ‘modern’ and ‘ancient’ as Loy’s writing was; gender is incurable by poetry alone, and these poems give only the flimsiest utterance to an identity based on what Loy once described as the ‘Increate’ world before human existence. “

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Thus spoke Zarathustra

Thus spoke Zarathustra’ : a review of Paul Stubbs’s Ex Nihilo by Mark Wilson in 3:AM magazine.

“The poetry of Paul Stubbs is like a severe volcanic eruption within the landscape of British poetry. In fact, to say that this small corpus of work (as to date, three books) is part of ‘British poetry’ seems a massive perversion of terminology. His radical syntax, on more careful inspection, reveals closer ties to European and World masters (Rimbaud, Jozsef, Benn, Trakl, Pilinszky, Vallejo). This volcanic simile holds true as Stubbs’ work is both ‘visionary’ (in its sheer verbal/metaphorical pyrotechnics) and a searing critique scalding the jaundiced pastures of a British poetic terrain that Stubbs has long since viewed as insular and infertile.”

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/thus-spoke-zarathustra/

The Black Herald 1 sur Flandres-Hollande

Une présentation de la revue, à lire sur l’excellent blog du traducteur Daniel Cunin.

http://flandres-hollande.hautetfort.com/archive/2011/03/19/the-black-herald.html

“La nouvelle revue littéraire bilingue (anglais / français) The Black Herald qui regroupe de la poésie, des fictions courtes, des essais et des traductions accorde une place à deux des grands auteurs flamands d’expression française du passé (Georges Rodenbach et Emile Verhaeren) et à un poète néerlandais contemporain (Onno Kosters). Leurs poèmes sont présentés en version originale avec une traduction anglaise en regard. Co-fondateur du Black Herald avec Blandine Longre, le poète Paul Stubbs expose dans son « Éditorial » l’ambitieux projet du périodique qui fait l’objet d’une mise en page très soignée”…

The Unleashment

The Unleashment: a review of  Clarities (Blandine Longre) & Ex Nihilo (Paul Stubbs) by Andrew O’Donnell in The Fiend magazine

“There is a great optimistic verve to the poem, here, in that there are certain mental terrains conjured that I don’t think we have seen anywhere else, meaning; in as much as a semblance of narrative is retained, and a tradition implied (perhaps something more resolutely Francophile/European… particularly in Stubbs’s using Valery in his introduction) Ex Nihilo seems simply to be creating its own rules, its own concerns, its own self and selves, and is unlike anything in British poetry right now.”

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(Photo: Romain verger)

Ce qu’est le Black Herald (#1) par le Visage Vert

Merci au Visage Vert (revue et éditeur) pour la présentation ci-dessous.
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Il y a bien longtemps, nous semble-t-il, qu’une revue (et une maison d’édition) ne s’était pas posée, comme le fait le Black Herald Magazine, entre les langues, au plus près du mystère de leur origine. Ce que Paul Stubbs dans son éditorial explique ainsi : “Par la traduction, par la juxtaposition linguistique et le système d’échos entre les textes (même lorsqu’ils sont écrits en des langues que nous ne comprendrons jamais), l’esprit reconquiert sa connaissance première du langage, celle qui était sienne avant que les nations et les cultures ne nous hypnotisent au point de créer en nous des divisions et des classements inconscients qui influencent notre lecture avant même qu’elle ait commencé…” Une ambition qu’illustre un sommaire passionnant, mêlant auteurs contemporains traduits ou non, qu’ils soient poètes (Tabish Khair, Philippe Rahmy, Andrew O’Donnell, Valeria Melchioretto, Onno Kosters pour n’en citer que certains) ou prosateurs (Claro et sa traduction par Brian Evenson, Romain Verger, Sébastien Doubinsky dont on pourra découvrir la version américaine de sa Mort de Billy the Kid, paru naguère en français dans le Quarterly de Zanzibar) et auteurs plus anciens : Rodenbach, Verhaeren et Trakl traduits en anglais par Will Stone, une lettre inédite de Cioran traduite en français par Nicolas Cavaillès. Aux commandes de ce navire de pirates, Paul Stubbs et Blandine Longre, dont on avait déjà loué ici la sauvage poésie d’expression anglaise. Tous deux ont eu l’audace d’offrir à leurs contributeurs cette étrange arène où la langue, par le système d’échos qu’ils ont construit, ne peut être que remise en cause. Lecture jamais confortable, jamais contentée, donc, que celle du Black Herald Magazine, où chaque page, chaque texte, dans sa version originale et / ou dans sa traduction est source d’inquiétude. On attend avec une impatience certaine la deuxième livraison (automne 2011, nous dit-on) de ce super-héraut.

The Death of the Gods

The Death of the Gods – Review of Paul Stubbs’s  The Icon Maker by Paul Stubbs (Arc Publications) by Andrew O’Donnell in The Fiend magazine.

“Even the notion of beliefs and faiths are called into question here, and so the book dares to go further than Nietzsche’s critiques in that all forms of oppositional thinking, whether in poetry, philosophy or other discipline (even the notion of ‘discipline’ or ‘area of thought’ infuses our fractured mental approaches to how we communicate with each other; what better way to show how we objectify in our wrestlings with our chosen spiritual paths, surely Everything is what interests the human mind?) Regardless, the philosopher Robert Anton Wilson would call this reticence toward any form of dogmatism a dialectic, or line, of consciousness that deals in Maybes, rather than the Yes or the No. We now live in a thoughtful maybe-ish world, in which proselytizing gets little done, and dogmatizing is repellant to the average individual. The newer generations mental lives exist somewhere in between. With the acceleration of knowledge the older generations can mistake this for apathy in the young, as compared with the knowledge available to them in previous cycles, and possibly mistakenly cheer on the overly dogmatic poetic tone as a result. In this way Stubbs is putting pressure on the notions inherent in the tone of Pound’s imagist protocols (definite images, clear lines of narrative thought) and trying to strike balances between abstraction and conventional narrativization, the high lyric voice, and the hard-headed and (ironically, in this case?) Biblical tone.”

Read the full review 

‘Love’s not so pure and abstract as they use[d] to say’

A review of Clarities, by Nigel Parke

“The uniqueness that is Blandine Longre’s in this collection of poems is twofold, in my opinion. Firstly, she has identified a domain: the powerful complexity of instincts and vicissitudes, and their processes and their drives. Secondly, she has found a language and a form for their expression. It involves neologism, courageous experiment and a fierce intelligence to have kept such a sustained control. There is an immanence of the object in her writing which is entirely compelling.

Blandine Longre invites us to share an intensity of seeing, comprehending, reading the other and beyond: responding to the judgment call and interpreting the momentous subtlety of the moment. She has constituted an art of the matter of seeing: seeing in a most intimate and shockingly dynamic way. The irreducible integrity of the image that Pound once envisaged is herein extant. Clarities is an astonishing debut. Blandine Longre has unleashed a new, vital, metaphysical animal upon an unsuspecting public. Be warned!”

Read the full review

Let’s get visceral

A review of Paul Stubbs’s EX NIHILO, by Nigel Parke

“The new, long poem, ‘Ex Nihilo’, is a tour-de-force. Building on the ground of ‘The Icon Maker’, here a world of new beginning and becoming is imagined and its logics and incidentals pursued. It’s a poem about the act of creation, and the poet’s rib is the Adamic starting point for a prolonged meditation on the genesis of art, creativity and poetic consciousness. The ‘I’ which begins the poem is an I which disintegrates, fragments, as the body becomes a discorporate symbol within a Picassoesque landscape of bone-rib outcrops and Svankmajeran intrinsically motivated, corporeal assemblages. Some of the phraseology is sublime.

(…)

Paul Stubbs’s ‘Ex Nihilo’ is the antidote to a poetry publishing current which appears to admit the most trivial of efforts. Poetry is a broad church and there’s no intrinsic harm in accessibility. However, Stubbs is coming from an entirely different place. He’s not writing for the reader who is looking for the habitual ‘performative’ element, though performance there is in every scalpel’s incision. The poet as surgeon diving deep for the soul, excavates the flesh, avoids his own anaesthesia and confronts that primeval landscape in an acupunctural ecstasy with only the agony of an already conscient subjectivity echoing the necessity of intervention.”

Read the full review

 

Oh Welcome Complexity

A review of Blandine Longre’s CLARITIES by Paul Sutton, for Stride Magazine.

“The usual point of reference for this sort of corporeal (and feminised) writing would be Plath, especially since she is quoted in the introduction. But the effect, especially above, is more reminiscent of Rimbaud’s ‘Illuminations’, This is interesting, because English is a second language for Longre, yet clearly the poems were (well) written in our great language – sorry for that vulgarity. (…) There’s an Ashbery quote, about French being too clear and logical a language for some of the nuanced tonal effects achievable in English. Yet look at what Celine, Genet or Artaud achieved, poetically. Indeed, look at the best poems in this collection. Although written in English, they have the unmistakable clarity and relentless logic of the best French writing.” – Paul Sutton

Read the full review

Five for: Paul Stubbs in 3:AM magazine

An interview of Paul Stubbs by Darran Anderson on 3:AM Magazine’s Buzzwords blog, September 21, 2010.

Extract

3) Over forty years ago, A. Alvarez wrote in The New Poetry of the curse of English poetry being gentility, looking at the most prominent recent collections it’s a blight that seems as sadly prevalent as ever. There’s a sense that poetry is still languishing in pastoral odes and navel-gazing whilst fiction, film and music have all embraced the modern, the fantastical even the terrible possibilities of the 20th and 21st centuries. You’ve spoken previously of your opposition to conservatism in poetry, is this something to be pursued with the Black Herald?

It is something we will pursue. In his introduction to The New Poetry anthology that you mention Alvarez also remarked that ‘Englishman didn’t believe in the inner life, and preferred not to mention it.’ This still holds true, and I have long since attacked what I have deemed the ‘island-bound verbiage’ of a large proportion of British poets writing today, poetry produced in the workshop, which, like a factory in an imaginative state of desuetude, churns out clone after clone of competent, yet unoriginal and mediocre poets, those who veer no further than their own filial and fractious narratives, or those who (despite Mayakovsky nearly a hundred years ago declaring that ‘nature’ poetry was dead) still want to be ‘closer to nature’. The editors of some of the ‘leading’ poetry magazines who deem it fit to handpick their poets are badly at fault of course, but this lack of diversity has given birth, in a creative sense, to an infertile poetical womb. Alvarez mentioned also the ‘isolated spirit’ of the ‘little Englander’, which has existed and still exists today because English critics, in failing to sift through this ‘diversity’ have constructed for themselves (not for the reader) the scaffold of unstable hierarchies, and thus too many important poets have been relegated to the ‘underground’ or to the imaginative attic. Academics and journalists who manipulate (through incompetence, blindness and laziness) false reputations, while delighting in their own cleverness when disparaging (how they see it) the literary also-rans. So at the Black Herald we are keen to extend even our own reading and literary tastes, while being fully aware (something we both vehemently believe) that a ‘personal taste’ is NOT a critical opinion, something critics or editors in England fail all too frequently to acknowledge.

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