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A Roll of the Dice

Stéphane Mallarmé; Jeff Clark and Robert Bononno (Translators)

Wave Books, April 2015.

A Roll of the Dice - one of symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé’s best-known and most visually complex works - has just been translated by the award-winning translator Robert Bononno and designed by the author Jeff Clark. Wave Books presents an edition with refined type and photographs that both honor the original and make it an object of delight. This bilingual edition of A Roll of the Dice (Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard) includes also the original preface by Mallarmé.

You can read here an interview by the Poetry Society of America of translator Robert Bononno and book designer Jeff Clark.

About the author

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898) was a French poet whose diverse works are considered precursors to key radical tendencies in 20th-century poetry and theory. He held salons in Paris whose regular visitors included W.B. Yeats, Rainer Maria Rilke, Paul Valéry, Paul Verlaine, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and many others. At the time of his death, Mallarmé was correcting proofs for the Vollard edition of Un Coup de Dés (A Roll of the Dice), which was to be the work’s first publication in book form, illustrated by Odilon Redon and printed by Firmin-Didot; the project was abandoned shortly after the poet’s death.

About the translators

Jeff Clark is the author of The Little Door Slides Back, Ruins, and Music and Suicide (winner of the James Laughlin Award), among other works, and has made his living as a book designer for twenty years. He is the designer for Wave Books, among many other presses. His studio, Quemadura, is based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where he is also active in community organizing and public artmaking. 

Robert Bononno has been a freelance translator from the French for more than 20 years. He was an adjunct professor in New York University's Translation Studies program and at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. Bononno is credited with the translation of over a dozen full-length books and numerous shorter pieces. These include Jean Grenier’s Considerations on the Death of a Dog, René Crevel’s My Body and I, a finalist for the 2005 French-American Foundation Prize, Hervé Guibert’s Ghost Image, and Henri Raczymow’s Swan’s Way. In 2002 he received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to complete a translation of the non-fiction work of Isabelle Eberhardt and in 2010 he received an NEA grant for the retranslation of Eugène Sue’s classic crime novel, The Mysteries of Paris.

More information here.

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