'In the end you're tired of this antiquated world'
Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) is the most significant French poet of early modernism, and the most colourful. His exuberant, adventurous poetry matched the eventful times through which he lived, and his experimentalism heralded a new artistic order. In the Paris of the belle epoque, Apollinaire's prolific writing - poems, short stories, erotic novels, art criticism - as well as his magnetic personality brought him fame and even some notoriety. His two great collections of poetry, Alcools and Calligrammes, made his reputation, and they include love poems as well as the war poetry for which he is best known. Apollinaire coined the word 'surrealism', and he led the literary and artistic avant-garde right up to his death two days before the Armistice, weakened by injuries received earlier in the War.
This new selection by Martin Sorrell covers the full range of Apollinaire's career, and includes some of the poet's inventive pictorial calligrams. The introduction and notes explore his seminal role in the culture of the twentieth century.
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Representative of the poetic career as a whole. * Mark Ford, London Review of Books *
Sorrell's lexical choices makes us realize how subtle the challenge to the translator really is, and how successfully that challenge has been met. * Translation and Literature *
There's no doubt that reading French books will help you expand your vocabulary and general comprehension skills, but for many, the thought of getting through an entire French novel is rather daunting. An enjoyable alternative is to read poetry which offers French Prose in shorter, more manageable chunks and where better to start than with the poems of one of France's most celebrated poets, Guillaume Apollinaire? * Living France *