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In the Gasworks

David Wheatley, 18 May 2000

To Ireland, I 
by Paul Muldoon.
Oxford, 150 pp., £19.99, March 2000, 0 19 818475 1
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by Paul Muldoon.
Faber, 64 pp., £7.99, February 1999, 0 571 19762 0
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The Birds 
translated by Paul Muldoon, by Richard Martin.
Gallery Press, 80 pp., £13.95, July 1999, 1 85235 245 0
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Reading Paul Muldoon 
by Clair Wills.
Bloodaxe, 222 pp., £10.95, October 1998, 1 85224 348 1
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... revelation to favoured critics and in interviews, Muldoon is not unlike that other cryptographer, Raymond Roussel, who, fearing that his grand schemes would go unappreciated by posterity, told all in Comment j’ai écrit certains de mes livres. If the puzzles in Muldoon’s work were exhaustible simply by noticing puns like Accutane/Aquitaine, reading ...

Red makes wrong

Mark Ford: Harry Mathews, 20 March 2003

The Human Country: New and Collected Stories 
by Harry Mathews.
Dalkey Archive, 186 pp., £10.99, October 2002, 1 56478 321 9
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The Case of the Persevering Maltese: Collected Essays 
by Harry Mathews.
Dalkey Archive, 290 pp., £10.99, April 2003, 1 56478 288 3
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... The OuLiPo, or Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, was founded in 1960 by Raymond Queneau and François Le Lionnais. The group’s initiatory text was a sequence of ten sonnets written by Queneau entitled Cent mille milliards de poèmes: these sonnets all use the same rhymes, and are grammatically constructed so that any line in any sonnet can be replaced by the corresponding line in any of the other nine sonnets ...

Rubbing Shoulders with Unreason

Peter Barham: Foucault's History of Madness, 8 March 2007

History of Madness 
by Michel Foucault, edited by Jean Khalfa, translated by Jonathan Murphy and Jean Khalfa.
Routledge, 725 pp., £35, April 2006, 0 415 27701 9
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... anyone dared revisit such a region.’ Not just Hölderlin, but Nerval, Nietzsche, Van Gogh, Raymond Roussel and Antonin Artaud ‘ventured there with tragic consequences . . . to the point at which the alienation of the experience of unreason pushed them into the abandonment of madness’. Here we come to the difficulty at the heart of this ...
The Paradoxes of Delusion: Wittgenstein, Schreber, and the Schizophrenic Mind 
by Louis Sass.
Cornell, 177 pp., £23.50, June 1995, 0 8014 9899 6
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Madness and Modernism: Insanity in the Light of Modern Art, Literature and Thought 
by Louis Sass.
Basic Books, 593 pp., £18.99, November 1993, 0 465 04312 7
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... Besides Nietzsche, Kafka and Wittgenstein, Sass includes, among others, Baudelaire, Van Gogh, Raymond Roussel, Jean-Pierre Brissct, Gérard de Nerval, Alfred Jarry, Strindberg, de Chirico, Dali and Beckett. Some aspects of late 20th-century life in the developed world– the distancing effect of technology and bureaucracy on our apprehension of ...

Report from Sirius B

Jeremy Harding: ‘Phantom Africa’, 22 March 2018

Phantom Africa 
by Michel Leiris, translated by Brent Hayes Edwards.
Seagull, 711 pp., £42, January 2017, 978 0 85742 377 1
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... vanguard of white men, approved by a vote in the French parliament and funded by subscription: Raymond Roussel, the wealthy author of Impressions d’Afrique (1909), was one of the donors. The ‘Mission Dakar-Djibouti’ was arduous. It took longer than Cook’s first journey from England to Australia two centuries earlier. Leiris was 29 when he was ...

The Politics of Translation

Marina Warner: Translate this!, 11 October 2018

This Little Art 
by Kate Briggs.
Fitzcarraldo, 365 pp., £12.99, September 2017, 978 1 910695 45 6
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Translation as Transhumance 
by Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz.
Les Fugitives, 150 pp., £10, November 2017, 978 0 9930093 3 4
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Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto 
by Mark Polizzotti.
MIT, 168 pp., £17.99, May 2018, 978 0 262 03799 0
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The 100 Best Novels in Translation 
by Boyd Tonkin.
Galileo, 304 pp., £14.99, June 2018, 978 1 903385 67 8
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The Work of Literary Translation 
by Clive Scott.
Cambridge, 285 pp., £75, June 2018, 978 1 108 42682 4
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... the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) as well as a long-serving translator who has rendered Raymond Roussel, Patrick Modiano, Marguerite Duras and many others. ‘A good translation,’ he writes, ‘offers not a reproduction of the work but an interpretation, a re-representation, just as the performance of a play or a sonata is a representation of ...


Fredric Jameson, 8 November 2018

My Struggle: Book 6. The End 
by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated by Martin Aitken and Don Bartlett.
Harvill Secker, 1153 pp., £25, August 2018, 978 1 84655 829 0
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... inevitable projection backwards onto the youth of what we know about the man. (Recall the story by Raymond Roussel of his discovery, in a dusty provincial museum, under glass, of the skull of Voltaire as a child.) For Kershaw, who knows the outcome, everything the young Hitler does is tainted in advance: not an act, not a feeling or an interest, a ...

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