New Impressions of Africa
Poet, novelist, playwright, and chess enthusiast, Raymond Roussel (1877-1933) was one of the French belle époque's most compelling literary figures. During his lifetime, Roussel's work was vociferously championed by the surrealists, but never achieved the widespread acclaim for which he yearned. New Impressions of Africa is undoubtedly Roussel's most extraordinary work. Si...more
(This is a first impression of New Impressions. I have a long and hopefully thoughtful assessment here.)
First, I think it must mean that you have already read 'How I Wrote Certain of My Books,' 'Locus Solus,' and 'Impressions of Africa': that is, you are thoroughly immersed, hypnotized, pithed by Roussel's unimpeachable and unapproachable weirdness. Then, I think it should mean you have read something about Roussel: Foucault's book, or pos ...more
Reading this book soothes me in a very weird way.
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Now here's a book that should have distinct entries here on GR for its two current translations into English - Ian Monk's and Mark Ford's.
Why the more recent Mark Ford version sports blurbs to the effect that his translation is the first is beyond me, though I'm beginnning to suspect some minor conspiracy initiated by distributors of foreign books and their campaign to limit the availability, and perhaps even deny the existence, o ...more
So what we have is a poetry book that is also probably the most clever "literary" puzzle ever. The translator Mark Ford, who is also the Englis ...more
A poem comprised of four long sentences, each extended, broken apart and complicated by a series of parenthetical statements, which have, in turn their own parentheses, and parentheses within parentheses within parentheses, etc. ((((((for example, 6th level parentheses are designated as such)))))) the sentences are also interrupted by various footnotes (all rhymed, reminding us of their unusual place as both part of the poem and also outside the poem-- sometimes the footn ...more
Brave, brilliant, barely intelligible and yet; beyond.