Cinepoems and Others
Benjamin Fondane was that rarest of poets: an experimental formalist with a powerful lyric poetic voice; a renegade surrealist who was also a highly original existential philosopher; a self-consciously Jewish poet of diaspora and loss, whose last manuscripts made it out of Drancy in 1944 just before his deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he was murdered, yet whose poetry speaks of an overflowing plenitude.
This bilingual selection is the first volume of Fondane’s poetry to appear in English, and it includes a broad sample of his work, from the coruscating and comic cinepoems of his surrealist years, to philosophical meditations, to poems that in their secular and mystical Judaism confront the historical calamity—and imaginative triumph—of European Jewry.
Translators: Mitchell Abidor, Marianne Bailey, E. M. Cioran, Marilyn Hacker, Henry King, Andrew Rubens, Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody, Leonard Schwartz
"Benjamin Fondane, Romanian Jewish immigrant writing in his second language, brought a narrative vigor and a lyrical, global, tragicomic imagination to French poetry that it has rarely seen since."—Marilyn Hacker
"Fondane… deserves to be celebrated outside France… as his far-ranging gifts and accomplishments are at the heart of 20th-century Jewish artistic and philosophical modernism."—Benjamin Ivry, The Jewish Daily Forward
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