The Paris theater world, the hot literary gossip, scenes of domestic life, and the inner workings of two of France’s most notorious free spirits.
Generally reckoned to be one of the most fascinating correspondences of the last century, this exchange of letters from 1863 to 1876 is unique in the history of French literature. Never have two great writers set down their ideas so candidly and over so long a period of time on the most varied topics, including the genesis of their own writings. The elements of this correspondence have been available for over a century, but never in a form accessible to the general reader. For this edition, Alphonse Jacob has re-created the atmosphere in which the letters were written and has revived this masterpiece by two of France’s greatest novelists: their intimate correspondence.
Acclaimed in both Russia and the West as Russia’s greatest poet of the 20th century, Osip Mandelstam was also a brilliant writer of prose. These autobiographical essays, reviews, and personal reflections reveal the themes of his finest poems and of his life in Stalinist Russia: the nature of history, both as it is lived and as it is later constructed; the continuity and destruction of cultural tradition, and the essence of poetry itself.
The Translation judges for the National Book Awards—Richard Miller, Alastair Reid, Eliot Weinberger—cites Clayton Eshleman and Jose Rubia Barcia’s translation of Cesar Vallejo’s The Complete Posthumous Poetry as follows:
“This, the first National Book Award to be given to a translation of modern poetry, is a recognition of Clayton Esheman’s seventeen-year apprenticeship to perhaps the most difficult poetry in the Spanish language. Eshleman and his present collaborator, Jose Rubia Barcia, have not only rendered these complex poems into brilliant and living English, but have also established a definitive Spanish test based on Vallejo’s densely rewritten manuscripts. In recreating this modern master in English, they have also made a considerable addition to poetry in our language.”
This twelfth century masterpiece suffered virtual oblivion from the late fourteenth century until 1912, when it was rediscovered by the great sinologist Wang Kuo-wei who helped restore it to its preeminent position in Chinese literature. Comprising 184 prose passages and 5,263 lines of verse to be narrated and sung by a performing singer-storyteller, it is an elaboration of the T´ang dynasty love story, The Story of Ying-ying, by Yuan Chen (779-831).