Of Flies and Monkeys, Jacques Dupin
introduced & translated from the French by John Taylor
Bitter Oleander Press, 2011.
In the field of contemporary French poetry, Jacques Dupin (b. 1927) is a leading figure in a remarkable generation that also includes Yves Bonnefoy, Philippe Jaccottet, and André du Bouchet. In comparison to the aforementioned poets, however, Dupin’s work has been little available in English. A single volume, Selected Poems (Wake Forest University Press, 1992), translated by Paul Auster, Stephen Romer, and David Shapiro, collects early work, but none of the poets recent verse has appeared in English-speaking countries.
This book rights this situation. Gathering Dupin’s important recent volume, Coudrier (Hazel Tree), as well as two earlier volumes, De singes et de mouches (Of Flies and Monkeys) and Les Mères (The Mothers), this new translation forms a stimulating collective introduction to the poet’s writing. As the critic Jean-Pierre Richard has pointed out, “the territory of words, sensations, and images that is invented through Dupin’s poems . . . belongs to no other poet today.” His stark poetry brings forth opposites, fosters paradoxes, suggests potential narratives that are left unrecounted, and could perhaps be called “cubist” in its juxtaposition of fragments and in its rejection of natural or logical transitions. Not least, his writing is humorous, especially in its wry quips, ironic transformations of well-worn expressions, or playful imagery.
(source : http://www.bitteroleander.com/books.html)
John Taylor is the author of the three-volume Paths to Contemporary French Literature and Into the Heart of European Poetry — all published by Transaction. A prose writer and poet, his latest book is The Apocalypse Tapestries (Xenos Books, 2004). He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sonia Raiziss Charitable Foundation to translate Georges Perros and Louis Calaferte. Other authors he has recently translated include Pierre-Albert Jourdan, Philippe Jaccottet, Laurence Werner David, and several modern Greek writers. He lives in France.
About Jacques Dupin’s poetic language (by John Taylor)
Particles of Truth (a review by Paul Stubbs)
Plusieurs articles en français