Cinepoems and Others

Cinepoems and Others


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Benjamin Fondane was that rarest of poets: an experimental formalist with a powerful lyric poetic voice; a renegade surrealist who was also a highly original existential philosopher; a self-consciously Jewish poet  of diaspora and loss, whose last manuscripts made it out of Drancy in 1944 just before his deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where he was murdered, yet whose poetry speaks of an overflowing plenitude. This bilingual selection is the first volume of Fondane’s poetry to appear in English, and it includes a broad sample of his work, from the coruscating and comic cinepoems of his surrealist years, to philosophical meditations, to poems that in their secular and mystical Judaism confront the historical calamity—and imaginative triumph—of European Jewry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590179000
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 05/17/2016
Series: Nyrb Poets
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 843,781
Product dimensions: 4.50(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Benjamin Fondane (1898–1944) was a Romanian Jew who emigrated to France in 1923 to pursue his love of French poetry and culture. While at law school in Bucharest, he spent most of his time writing for avant-garde literary periodicals. In Paris, Fondane worked at an insurance company and for Paramount Pictures while establishing himself as a poet and philosopher writing in French. Under the guidance of the Russian émigré philosopher Lev Shestov, Fondane became a leading exponent of existential philosophy in the 1930s. He also spent time in Argentina, at the invitation of Victoria Ocampo, lecturing on avant-garde film and directing a surrealist comedic film. In 1944, he was deported from France and killed at Auschwitz. In addition to Cinepoems and Others, New York Review Books publishes a volume of his selected essays, Existential Monday.

Leonard Schwartz’s two most recent collections of poetry are At Element and IF, both from Talisman House. He hosts the radio program Cross Cultural Poetics.

Table of Contents

Introduction   2

Three Cine-Poems:

Maturing Eye-Lids  
Mtasipol   19
Horizontal Bar   26

From Ulysses

VII   31
XXI   33

From Titanic (X)   38

The Sorrows of Ghosts 49

From Exodus   70

From Belshazzar's Feast   94

From Refusal of the Poem:

In the Time of the Poem  119
Refusal of the Poem   128
Fallen Snow   130
Elegies   132


Interview with E. M. Cioran

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