proximal distal spatial place-ial across whatevertimemeasures
Latin translationem (nominative translatio) “a carrying across”
(mais “à travers” est parfois “de travers“)
A Mage in Summer (Un mage en été), Olivier Cadiot translated by Anna Fitzgerald, Dialogos Books, 2020
“More improbable than Nadja,” as Cadiot says, but his book is also more intimate than that one. We share his intimacy with color and light. More than any recent prose, this book makes us intimate with an artist’s sense of possibility. Ginbserg’s ‘democratic eyeball particulars’ teaming up with Robbe-Grillet’s proof that a physical particular can be made by a prose event, a prose intrigue. Anna Fitzgerald’s translation sagely pares away French syntax, which would have created a rhetorical counter-current in English. She recognizes the dynamic range of this inventiveness—a flow that branches away from stream of consciousness. Her images blaze.”
—Peter Thompson, author of Harrison, translator of Nabile Farès
“Oliver Cadiot dances on a not-so-fine line between patter, satire, stream of consciousness, essay, comedy, melodrama, soliloquy, mania, dialectic, sublimity, tragedy. A Mage in Summer does delight in voices.”
—Charles Bernstein, author of Near/Miss and Pitch of Poetry
Oliver Cadiot is a French poet, dramaturge, novelist, essayist, and translator–sometimes all at once. He has published 14 works with the French avant-garde press P.O.L–“works” because Cadiot blurs the boundaries between verse and prose, poetry and fiction. Several of his works, including Un mage en été, have been adapted for the stage by Ludovic Lagarde. Works in English includes three translations by Cole Swensen as well as a collaboration with Charles Bernstein on the translation/adaption of his early Rouge, vert & noir (Red, Green & Black, Potes & Poets Press, 1990). Cadiot himself has translated Gertrude Stein, the German writer Rainald Goetz, and Shakespeare.
Graal Flibuste, Robert Pinget translated by Anna Fitzgerald, Dalkey Archive Press, 2015
This early work by the landmark Swiss-French author Robert Pinget is unlike any other he produced over his long career; indeed, there are few books by any writer with which it bears comparison–aside perhaps from the novels of Raymond Roussel or Denis Diderot. Graal Flibuste follows the progress of its narrator and his impudent coachman, Brindon, through a fantastical land peopled by strange creatures, and filled with tale tales, mysteries, crimes, dilemmas, and deities . . . not the least among whom is the terrible god Graal Flibuste himself.
Robert Pinget was born in 1920 in Geneva. His first collection of stories, Between Fantoine and Agapa, was published in 1951. Pinget wrote more than 30 books: novels, plays, and “notebooks,” including Trio, Mahu or the Material, and The Inquisitory. Pinget’s last book, Taches d’Encre, came out in 1997, the year he died.
The Suspended Vocation (La vocation suspendue), Pierre Klossowski, translated by Jeremy Davis and Anna Fitzgerald, Small Press, 2020
“Perhaps it’s an anti-novel, a Baroque allegory, a Borgesian meta-fiction, a history of theological disputes, a confessional memoir, an early theory of camp . . . ? Klossowski suspends the suspension of disbelief to reveal good faith and bad faith, virtue and vice to be vectors in an echo chamber of infighting. Stunningly translated by Anna Fitzgerald and Jeremy M. Davies, The Suspended Vocation shows that the starkest devaluations, simulated disputes, and sordid passions are haunted and conditioned by the continuous promise of a miracle.”
—Felix Bernstein, artist and author of Burn Book
“I discovered Klossowski by chance, really, reading his novel The Suspended Vocation while waiting for a friend in a bookstore. I thought it was very strange, and ended up buying it. It takes the form of a disquisition on a book that never actually arrives . . . about quarrels inside the church, between different factions in the Catholic church . . . The work is a combination of perversity and theology . . . a form of perversion as philosophy.”
—Raúl Ruiz, filmmaker, interviewed by Adrian Martin
“The Polish-Parisian writer-philosopher-artist-actor Pierre Klossowski lived a long productive life as a hospitable pervert. The two films Raúl Ruiz made from his novels are unique in cinema because Klossoswki’s books are unique in 20th century literature—short but labyrinthine, obsessed with the institutional hierarchies but uniquely modernist, strange in their attachment to detail.”
—A. S. Hamrah, author of The Earth Dies Streaming: Film Writing, 2002-2018