Ombres Et Soleil =: Shadows and Sun: Selected Writings of 1913-1952

Paul Eluard, Author, Pablo Picasso, Illustrator Oyster River Press $29.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-9617481-7-3
The seamless, accurate translations that distinguish this bilingual selection of the work of Eluard (1895-1952) are facilitated by Alexander's having worked closely with the poet on many of the pieces. The poems, chosen from over two dozen books and some translated here into English for the first time, are arranged in chronological sections. Eluard's work during the years of WWII makes up a quarter of the volume (and includes a clean rendition into English of ``Liberte,'' which RAF pilots dropped by the thousands over France during the resistance). The longest and most varied section, ``Between the World Wars,'' entails Eluard's dadaist and surrealist periods (the latter which he helped invent); in the post-war poetry, alexandrines and ballads replace the collage of earlier years. Six tantalizing prose pieces comprise the final section--from the Surrealists' Declaration of 1925, to an essay illuminating the idea of ``committed poetry.'' Overall this is an excellent compilation of the life work of a poet who accorded love and beauty primary status in his search for a language to capture this century's shattering changes. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/31/1995
Release date: 08/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
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