Saturday, 12 April 2014

Day 12: A translated cut-up poem

My MA dissertation is (or will be) on the poetry of André Frénaud. Rather than translating any actual Frénaud here, though, I have tried a different tack. I took an extract from Bernard Pingaud's rather flowery introduction to Frénaud's collection Il n'y a pas de paradis, created a cut-up poem from it (I used all the words from the extract, rearranging them to make a poem), then translated that into English. Poetry is everywhere! Hooray!

"L’écriture, toutefois, n’est pas la cure. Alors que la parole analytique tend à s’abolir dans un silence final qui serait celui de la guérison, la parole poétique se fixe, au contraire, dans ces objets de forme et dimension diverses, ces petits monuments verbaux qui garantissent au poète que l’événement ne s’est pas produit en vain."

(Bernard Pingaud, Preface to André Frénaud, Il n’y a pas de paradis. Paris: Gallimard, 1967, p.10)

The cut-up technique produced this (with alterations made so that verbs are correctly conjugated and adjectives agree in gender and number. Punctuation has also been added.):


dans l’écriture, toutefois,
qu'un silence final
qui serait parole
dans ces petites dimensions

poètes-monuments se fixent en vain
tendent ces objets divers

à l’événement

la poétique de celui-là est contraire
à s’abolir

la parole qui garantit, verbale et analytique
ne se produit pas
la cure n’est que forme, alors :
pas de guérison

The next stage was the translation:

To the

in writing, all the same,
nothing but a final silence
which would be speech
in these small dimensions

poet-monuments establish themselves in vain,
hold out these various objects
to the event

that one's poetics is opposed
to self-suppress

the word that guarantees, verbal and analytical
does not happen.
the cure is only form, then:
no healing


1 comment:

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