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A Certain Plume

by Henri Michaux

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1561176,195 (4.05)1
A bilingual edition of the most famous of Henri Michaux's poetry collections, now in a new translation from the French. The figure of Plume preoccupied the great Belgian poet Henri Michaux throughout his career. Plume, meaning feather or pen, is a character who drifts from one thing to another, losing shape, taking new forms, at perpetual risk from reality. He is a personification of the imagination as subject to innumerable pratfalls and disgraces, and yet indestructible for all that. In this new bilingual edition, with translations by Richard Sieburth, the entire Plume cycle appears for the first time in English in the form in which Michaux originally published it.… (more)
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Really interesting collection of prose poems, poems, a play and thought pieces. Plume is an attractive character,his experiences are comic like Chaplin and nightmarish like Kafka as he is buffeted about on his travels. There's a constant sense of the absurd throughout and the Plume sections are the most accessible though I found most of it approachable bar the play 'Drama of the Constructors' which was fairly unintelligible. The 'Postface' with its musings on identity and 'self' was illuminating. Throughout his writing and his life he returns to the idea of living 'against' his environment, all that limits and constrains him. The reader should get a similar sense of liberation from the everyday in these pieces with their black humour and farce. ( )
  Kevinred | Sep 21, 2021 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michaux, Henriprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Freund, GisèlePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leonhard, KurtTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sieburth, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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A bilingual edition of the most famous of Henri Michaux's poetry collections, now in a new translation from the French. The figure of Plume preoccupied the great Belgian poet Henri Michaux throughout his career. Plume, meaning feather or pen, is a character who drifts from one thing to another, losing shape, taking new forms, at perpetual risk from reality. He is a personification of the imagination as subject to innumerable pratfalls and disgraces, and yet indestructible for all that. In this new bilingual edition, with translations by Richard Sieburth, the entire Plume cycle appears for the first time in English in the form in which Michaux originally published it.

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