Lemon Hound has posted an interview with Soren Gauger, translator of I Burn Paris, mixing in a review of the book as well.
From Soren: “I have a lot of sympathy for the early Marxism of Central/Eastern Europe, and I believe that some of the most profoundly humanist and moral writing emerged from writers involved in it (Aleksander Wat, Victor Serge, early Ilya Ehrenberg, Mayakovsky). It makes no difference that this humanism was often expressed through a kind of disgust – it remains a defense of the human spirit much more compelling than anything we have in our day, and a rare example of political writing that never becomes mawkish or cloying.”
From the review: “The translation … appears in a moment when materialism and avarice are at their zenith, social unrest is spanning continents, and the disparity of wealth is at its largest point since, well, the original publication of I Burn Paris that saw Polish émigré author Bruno Jasieński escorted to the French-German boarder and warned not to return.”
Read the full version here.
A couple of interesting reviews of I Burn Paris have come out recently:
Over at Press Board Press they have been gradually putting up Jasieński’s poems in the original Polish and in English translation by Mila Jaroniec. Three have been posted to date:
“They Ran Him Over"
(shades of The Legs of Izolda Morgan)
Hopefully there will be more to come. It’s good to see Jasieński finally getting some attention.
A prose piece by Soren Gauger, translator of I Burn Paris, has been posted on their site as well:
* Portrait of Jasieński by Tytus Czyżewski
Dream of Mother Earth
by Jindřich Štyrský
Dream of the Gypsy Woman is connected to Dream of Mother Earth
I was reading Mácha’s May before falling asleep. I was extremely tired — dozing off —
— — — beautiful earth, beloved earth,
my cradle, my grave, my mother.
What appeared to me was that very same furrowed earth from Dream of the Gypsy Woman.
Forthcoming in Dreamverse.
At Hyperallergic, Michael Leong has an excellent overview of Ghérasim Luca’s three books that have thus far appeared in English, including, of course, The Passive Vampire. An appreciation of Luca’s writing in general, he also mentions some recent translations of his poetry that have popped up in journals and seemed to have escaped our notice. Here is one that is available on Poetry International's website : scroll down to “Dream in Action.” Apparently they’ve published more. Maybe one day they’ll be made available.
Eutychia by Gellu Naum in Asymptote -
A poem by Gellu Naum translated by Margento and Martin Woodside in the Summer 2012 issue of Asymptote as part of their special feature on Romanian poetry.
Marci Shore, author of the excellent Caviar and Ashes, has reviewed I Burn Paris for the Times Literary Supplement (June 22, 2012). She concludes by noting:
“I am old-fashioned enough to believe”, writes Soren Gauger in his afterword to I Burn Paris, “that a translation should be motivated, above all, by a kind of bald enthusiasm for the author at hand.” The explanation was unnecessary: this translation, the first into English, was palpably a labour of love. It is not an easy novel to render: the vocabulary is intricate and vast, the literary registers multiple and shifting, the allusions at moments disorientingly wide-ranging. That Gauger and Marcin Piekoszewski succeed in making the novel so readable in English while channelling the author’s vertigo-inducing voice is a remarkable accomplishment. At the same time, their translation is the recovery (and, in English, perhaps the discovery) not only of a talented writer and a fascinating personality, but also of an overwhelming historical drama. Read against the fate of its author, the sheer scope of I Burn Paris illuminates something of the dazzling enormity of the world remaking experiment – and the catastrophic enormity of its failure.
We have posted the entire review here.
With a Wild Wahoo! -
At Hyperallergic, Barry Schwabsky considers Futurism in the context of Bruno Jasienski’s I Burn Paris and Burning City, an anthology of the prewar avant-garde that also includes some of Jasienski’s poetry.
I Burn Paris
If you ever wish to fill up your apartment with out-of-this-world beautiful books, simply go to Twisted Spoon Press. The Prague-based press literally only publishes books that are worthwhile to publish. Besides making outrageously good-looking book covers, the content of these contemporary bibles don’t shy away either. From avant-garde to surrealism to perhaps some Kafkaesque themes, literates will find home here.
Recently having read, I Burn Paris by Bruno Jasieński, this Czech House keeps the expectations satisfied. A must-read. Even just to feel the smooth pages and be excited about the words’ layout.
by Konstantin Biebl
translated from the Czech by Jed Slast
Konstantin Biebl (1898-1951) was a member of Devětsil and co-founder of the Surrealist Group of Czechoslovakia. Known primarily as a poet, Plancius is one of his few works of prose. Very much in the vein of Poetism, it presents the mindset of Dutch colonialists as they sail to Java. It was published as a gift for friends in a limited edition booklet by Sfinx B. Janda in Prague on New Years 1931. Jindřich Štyrský provided the frontispiece and the design.
Read it here.