Epignosis Quarterly, Spring 2014, Vol. I, Issue 1

Epignosis Quarterly – SPRING 2014 VOLUME I – ISSUE 1

The first issue of Epignosis Quarterly (edited by Ágnes Cserháti, who also runs the independent press Rufus Books) will soon be available on its official website.

In the meantime, the complete pdf file can be downloaded here: 

Epignosis Quarterly_spring_2014

 

Epignosis Quarterly  SPRING 2014, VOLUME I - ISSUE 1

Epignosis Quarterly
SPRING 2014, VOLUME I – ISSUE 1 -All rights reserved. ISSN 2292-9371

 

with: 

Ben Meyerson, Michael Lee Rattigan, Jeremy Clarke, Gordon Meade, Iain Britton, Bethany W. Pope, Dick Jones, Ruth Roach Pierson, Ágnes Cserháti, Matthew Francis, Steven Mayoff, Anthea Simmons, Erin Soros, Georges Rodenbach, Maurice Maeterlinck, Will Stone, Paul Celan, John Reibetanz, Paul Stubbs, Paola Volpato, Jordan B. Peterson.

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CONTENTS

POETRY

1, 14  Ben Meyerson

1, 12  Michael Lee Rattigan

2-9  Jeremy Clarke

2, 14  Gordon Meade

9  Iain Britton

10  Bethany W. Pope

12-13  Dick Jones

13  Ruth Roach Pierson

15-16  Ágnes Cserháti

15  Matthew Francis

15, 22  Steven Mayoff

16  Anthea Simmons

SHORT FICTION

3-9  Erin Soros

Still Water, BC

TRANSLATIONS

11-12  Georges Rodenbach’s prose piece ‘The Graves’ and Maurice Maeterlinck’s poem ‘Night Soul’ translated by Will Stone

15  Paul Celan’s poems ‘Song’ and ‘Strung’ translated by John Reibetan

ESSAY

18-22  ‘The Anti-Author and the Death of Personality’, an essay about Arthur Rimbaud by Paul Stubbs

BOOK REVIEWS

17  Bethany W. Pope on Will Stone’s translation of Poems – Emile Verhaeren (Arc, 2014)

31-32  Ágnes Cserháti on A Ragged Pen: Essays on Poetry & Memory (Gaspereau Press, 2006)

ARTWORK

2, 6, 30  Paola Volpato

INTERVIEW

23-29  Ágnes Cserháti in conversation with Jordan B. Peterson about his artwork, ‘The Meaning of Music’

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‘epignosis’ is a Greek adjective meaning ‘perceptive’ and ‘insightful’ having to do with a personal orspiritual knowledge, ‘in-knowledge’, rather than merely rational or instructional knowledge. This is the kind of writing and art that is of interest to EQ. Submissions of poetry,  short fiction, creative non-fiction, translations, essays,interviews, reviews,artwork and photography are welcome.

If you would like to submit, please limit to 3 poems and/or 1 each of any other kind of writing or artwork and photography, or if you have any ideas you’d like to discuss, please feel free to contact the editor: epignosisquarterly(at)gmail(dot)com.

Editor: Ágnes Cserháti

Assistant Editors: Bethany W. Pope, Caroline Li

© Epignosis Quarterly, 2014

All rights reserved.

ISSN 2292-9371

EQ is published in May, August, November and February.

Anthony Vivis (1943-2013)

Anthony Vivis

Anthony Vivis

Obituary of Anthony Vivis (1943-2013) in The Guardian.

“Anthony Vivis, who has died suddenly aged 70, was a renowned translator of postwar German plays that habitually documented mythical misery in the urban jungle while relating to the ingrained tradition of Brecht, Georg Büchner, Gerhart Hauptmann and Schiller.”

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Anthony co-translated (with Will Stone) poems by August Stramm, published in the 3rd issue of The Black Herald.
http://blackheraldpress.wordpress.com/2012/09/12/august-stramm-four-poems-quatre-poemes/

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“In memory of Anthony Vivis (1943-2013) theatrical writer, translator of German literature, friend and thoroughly decent man, who recently left us. The contribution Anthony made to English culture through forty years of translating German drama cannot be underestimated. His plays by writers such as Jelinek, Kroetz, Fassbinder and Brecht were performed in London’s West End and elsewhere, he worked for the BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company and was a fellow of Clare College Cambridge. Anthony was one of the ‘old guard’ in German studies in and around UEA and was a long standing friend of both WG Sebald and Michael Hamburger. In a way in his more retiring capacity, he constituted the third part of this triumvirate who did so much for the reception of German letters in the UK. He will be sorely missed.” (Will Stone)

An evening of poetry with Rufus books

This poetry reading will be featuring Michael L. Rattigan, Gill Gregory, Will Stone and Matthew Francis at the Senate House Library, London, on 30 May 2013.

http://www.rufusbookspublishing.ca/

rufus books reading

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

 

Rilke in Paris

Rilke in Paris
by Maurice Betz, translated from the French by Will Stone, Hesperus Press, 2012

In the summer of 1902, a young unknown German-language poet named Rainer Maria Rilke, arrived in Paris with the intention of writing a monograph on the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin. From then on, Paris proved both a reliable base and an irresistible source of inspiration for Rilke. He was by turns arrested, appalled, tormented and inspired by the raw reality of the Parisian street, and the life he witnessed there gradually entered his writings, prefigured by prodigious letters and notes. These formed the basis of his prose masterpiece The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, published in 1910. Maurice Betz was Rilke’s foremost translator into French and knew the poet personally. In 1941 he published an insightful essay around Rilke’s artistic relationship with Paris, concentrating on the fascinating and difficult evolution of The Notebooks. Already translated into other European languages, Rilke in Paris is now available in English translation for the first time.

http://www.hesperuspress.com/Web/pages/bookdetails.aspx?bid=673

http://www.europeanbookshop.com/blog/194

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 

The Wolf 24

Issue 24 of The Wolf, magazine for new poetry,  is out.

with poems by Paul Stubbs (‘The Last Signs of Science’), Will Stone, Blandine Longre, but also Gabriel LevinJohn KinsellaAnne Waldman among others, critical prose and reviews (of Tabish Khair’s Man of Glass, Siddhartha Bose’s Kalagora, Charles Reznikoff’s Holocaust, etc.) and paintings by Bahram.

To buy The Wolf

http://www.wolfmagazine.co.uk/buy.php

‘Verhaeren in Rouen’

Will Stone’s poem ‘Verhaeren in Rouen‘ from his award winning collection ‘Glaciation‘ (Salt 2007) was selected for publication and translated by Jacques de Decker in issue 278 of the Belgian literary review ‘Marginales.

Marginales’ is published in Brussels by Jacques de Decker, President of the Royal Academy of Language and French Literature, and is edited by the writer and broadcaster Jean Jauniaux.

A recording of poet and translator reading the poem was made to be broadcast on the accompanying radio programme. This recording can be accessed at the link below:

www.demandezleprogramme.be/Ecoutez-Will-Stone-lire-le-poeme?rtr=y

Journeys by Stefan Zweig

Journeys by Stefan Zweig
(translated by Will Stone, Hesperus Press, october 2010)

The first English translation of Zweig’s writings on his travels in Europe. Representing a lifetime’s observations, this collection can be dipped into or savoured at length, and paints a rich and sensitive picture of Europe before the Second World War. For the insatiably curious Zweig, travel was both a necessary cultural education and a personal balm for the depression he experienced when rooted in one place for too long. He spent much of his life weaving between the countries of Central Europe, visiting authors and friends, exploring the continent in the heyday of international rail travel.

To know more & buy the book

From Charlottenburg to Middleton

From Charlottenburg to Middleton

From Charlottenburg to Middleton: Michael Hamburger (1924–2007): Poet, Translator, Critic by Crick, Joyce / Liebscher, Martin / Swales, Martin (Eds.)
London German Studies XIII
2010 · ISBN 3-86205-070-3 · 123 S., kt. · EUR 16,—
(Publications of the Institute of Germanic Studies, Vol. 96)

http://www.iudicium.de/katalog/86205-070.htm

One of the essays of this books can be read on line :

Unpickled apples: Memories of Michael Hamburger, by Will Stone

To know more about Michael Hamburger
www.doku-arts.de/en/program/films/michael_hamburger.html

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