Benjamin Fondane’s Ulysses
Translated from the French and with an Introduction by Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody
Foreword by David Rieff
A major poetic work of the Jewish Romanian poet and philosopher Benjamin
"For the first time, the poetry of one of the greatest, if unduly
forgotten, modern writers is now available in English. The
translator’s careful consideration of the complexities of the
original is not only a faithful transposition, but also an accessible
and enjoyable experience for the anglophone reader
. . . highly commendable."—Olivier Salazar-Ferrer, author of Benjamin Fondane
"This meditative and rhapsodic travelogue of a Romanian Jew takes the reader
from the poet’s childhood home to Paris in its heyday, between the Wars, and
on a voyage down the coast of Africa, across to South America, and back, presenting
his travels as both a mythic tale and an existential search."—Brooks Haxton, author of They Lift Their Wings to Cry
Benjamin Fondane (1898–1944) was a Romanian Jew who immigrated to France in
1923 to pursue his love of French poetry and philosophy. He is the author of several
collections of poetry and philosophical essays, selections of which have been translated
into English, including Cinepoems and Others.
Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody has translated the work of French and Belgian poets, including
Paul Valéry and Benjamin Fondane. In 2013, he was awarded the Susan Sontag Prize
for Translation. His translation of Valéry’ s poetry is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and
Giroux, and his work has appeared in TriQuarterly, Two Lines, and Cerise.
Book Description »[Close »]
From 1923, when he emigrated from Bucharest, to his deportation to AuschwitzBirkenau
in 1944, Benjamin Fondane made a unique and independent-minded
contribution to the literary and intellectual life of Paris. Influenced by the Surrealists,
he distanced himself from their doctrines and in both his critical writings
and his own poetry insisted on the importance of individual lived experience
and poetic craft. One of the most significant pieces in Fondane’s body of
work is the long poem Ulysses. Published in 1933, it was his first major writing
in French. Yet Fondane considerably revised his text during the dark years of
occupied Paris, and it is this second "edition without an end," left unfinished at
the time of his deportation, that is translated here for the first time into English.
Lyrical and modern, visionary and intensely personal, it is a moving testament
to the poetic voice and philosophical engagement of this exceptional figure of
the Paris avant-garde.
View other series books on Judaic Traditions in Literature, Music, and Art.
6 x 9, 208 pages, notes, bibliography, index