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Le Ton Beau De Marot: In Praise of the Music of Language (1997)

by Douglas R. Hofstadter

Other authors: Clément Marot (Contributor)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8591319,497 (3.97)26
Not Merely a set of translations of one poem, Le Ton beau de Marot is an autobiographical essay, a love letter to the French language, a series of musings on life, loss, and death, a sweet bouquet of stirring poetry - but most of all, it celebrates the limitless creativity fired by a passion for the music of words. Dozens of literary themes and creations are woven into the picture, including Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, Dante's Inferno, Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Villon's ballades, Nabokov's essays, Georges Perec's La disparition, Vikram Seth's Golden Gate. Horace's odes, and more. Rife with stunning form-content interplay, crammed with creative linguistic experiments yet always crystal-clear, this book is meant not only for lovers of literature, but also for people who wish to be brought into contact with current ideas about how creativity works, and who wish to see how today's computational models of language and thought stack. Up next to the human mind.… (more)
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» See also 26 mentions

English (11)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
  chrisvia | Apr 29, 2021 |
A unique look at language and beyond, woven through with a painful emotionality. ( )
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
In Disparagement of the Monotony of Language

Dearest Doug,
Please don't bug
Us with rhyme
One more time.
Reading through
Sev'nty-two
Poems built on
"Ma Mignonne"
Is real tough.
Nuff's enough!
And no line
For Will Quine
When you ask
If the task
To create
A translate
Can be done?
It's no fun,
Also rude,
To conclude
Douglas Hof-
Stadter's off
Of his game.
All the same,
We can see
G-E-B
This is not.
Thanks a lot! ( )
2 vote cpg | Oct 14, 2017 |
A really fun book and, having read all/most of Hofstadter's books, I'm still partial to GEB. All of these books are fascinating in their own way: this one with all the poems (although, there does come a point where you feel like the poems are just baggage he uses because he spent so much time on them). None of them capture the magic of the math theorems he went into with GEB

Still, he's one of my favorite authors (and, after seeing the care he puts into the aesthetics of his book, I wish other authors had his drive) ( )
  Lorem | Aug 1, 2015 |
This is the book that makes ME want to be a translator. ( )
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hofstadter, Douglas R.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Marot, ClémentContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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To M. & D.,

living sparks of their
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Picture Holden Caulfield all grown up, now a university professor, writing a book about translation.
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Not Merely a set of translations of one poem, Le Ton beau de Marot is an autobiographical essay, a love letter to the French language, a series of musings on life, loss, and death, a sweet bouquet of stirring poetry - but most of all, it celebrates the limitless creativity fired by a passion for the music of words. Dozens of literary themes and creations are woven into the picture, including Pushkin's Eugene Onegin, Dante's Inferno, Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Villon's ballades, Nabokov's essays, Georges Perec's La disparition, Vikram Seth's Golden Gate. Horace's odes, and more. Rife with stunning form-content interplay, crammed with creative linguistic experiments yet always crystal-clear, this book is meant not only for lovers of literature, but also for people who wish to be brought into contact with current ideas about how creativity works, and who wish to see how today's computational models of language and thought stack. Up next to the human mind.

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