BOOKS:

Adrian Clarke - Eurochants

£8.95

Adrian Clarke - Eurochants

Paperback, 110pp, 8.5x5.5ins

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Testing some possibilities and limits of cultural and linguistic exchange, a selection of imitations of Max Jacob follow free improvisations on early Chinese love poems and texts by Persius, Tacitus and Villon. The Eurochants themselves are less translations of specific texts than plurilingual responses to aspects of the European lyric tradition with its characteristic themes of "despair, frustration, yearning" (Michael Riffaterre) that are by turns respectful and irreverent, attentive and oblique, measuring themselves against established forms—most frequently the sonnet—as they distort and resolve them. Taking their cue from Alain Bosquet's reflections on collective suicide, a set of 'Terminal Preludes' responds to projects for "total war" and planetary depredation with fractured syntax, rhythmic insistence and determinedly impure diction.

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