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Sunday, July 11, 2010

here still in the vaucluse

Am sitting in my field upstairs at the cabanon Biska (I love the name of this old stone house-in-a-field, the Complaining cabanon, bisquer being to complain in old provencal) , surrounded by the cigales chirping or whatever it is they do, and I have to look up whether it is just rubbing their wings together, but it certainly makes a mighty racket!
It is late early evening, like 7:30, about time to go figure out what to put on the downstairs table, whatever it will be will be happily interrupted by our walking down our path to the road to see the sunset.. Evenings are the loveliest times, next to mornings, and we swam in the lake at noon, perfect time, because the French all have to be somewhere eating, so there are only "les estrangers" around....
Last night at a supper with many, I was asked whether I knew Gustaf Sobin, who came, like me, to live here because it was the countryside of Rene Char. Indeed I did, and when my old 2CV refused to go up a hill to see a friend, Tina Jolas, with whom I loved translating, Gustaf arrived and pushed it (and me.) So we became friends. A super and poetic anthropologist, whose essays on this countryside and whose poems I love.
Reading Ron Silliman's response to Sobin's translations of Char's Return Upland (Retour Amont) and The Brittle Age (L'Age cassant), which I had the privilege of prefacing, I was taken again by the happiness of worrying about translation, especially of poetry. Especially of Char's poetry.
Especially that now, this very December, Black Widow Books will bring out the immense volume of Char's Furor and Mystery as translated now by myself and Nancy Kline -- with some translations by Patricia Terry, an essay on Char and the Resistance by Sandra Bermann, a preface by Marie-Claude Char, and essays by Nancy and myself on meeting Char at his Busclats -- and the privilege of it all.

That's a good place to stop for this evening: the privilege of it all.
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