A Descriptive Method
ISBN: 978-0-942996-23-4 • $10.00 • 30 pp.
Translated from the French by Keith Waldrop
Every so often a book appears in translation before it appears in its original language, and when it does, it is a tribute both to the extent of the writer’s influence and to the work’s inherent tendency to surpass its own linguistic boundaries. (…) Keith Waldrop is the ideal translator for these works because his long association with Royet-Journaud—as the translator of three of his previous books and as a colleague of long standing—allows him to approach the work from the inside, beginning the recreation of the texts close to their own point of origin.
—Cole Swenson for Poetry Flash
A descriptive method from which all conventional indicators have been withheld? Like a theory of colors in which no colors are shown? Yes—but then. But then, “from the scriptive” arises a tale, a constellation of voices and silences as singular and engaging as any other in contemporary poetry. To read Claude Royet-Journoud is to experience the elements of telling itself.
Now Keith Waldrop gives us a beautiful rendering of Une Methode Descriptive, poetry as dense as it is spare, as concise as it is explosive — a poetry of the literal made strange.
Claude Royet-Journaud was born in 1941 in Lyon, France. His publications in French and English include, Le Renversement, La Notion d’Obstacle, Les Objects contiennent l’infini, & Les Natures indivisibles, The Crowded Circle, Le Collet de Buffle, Reversal, Até, and The Right Wall of the Heart Effaced. He was co-founder & co-editor, along with Anne-Marie Albiach & Michel Couturier, of the journal Siècle à mains. With Emmanuel Hocquard, he has edited two anthologies of American poetry, 21+1: Poètes améicains d’aujourd’hui, & 49+1: nouveaux poètes américains. His work been translated into Greek, Spanish, Italian, Portugese, Romanian. He currently lives in Paris.
Keith Waldrop is author of numerous collections of poetry and is the translator of The Selected Poems of Edmond Jabes, as well as works by Claude Royet-Journoud including Post-Apollo’s A Descriptive Method and Figured Image by Anne-Marie Albiach. Post-Apollo published a collaboration between he and his wife Rosemarie Waldrop, Well Well Reality in 1998. He has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and DAAD (Berlin). His titles include Hegel’s Family, The Opposite of Letting the Mind Wander: Selected Poems and a few Songs, Shipwreck in Haven: Transcendental Studies, The Balustrade, Light While There is Light, The Locality Principle, Analogies of Escape and Haunt. He has twice been nominated for the National Book Award: for his first book of poetry. With his wife Rosmarie Waldrop he co-edits Burning Deck Press. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and teaches at Brown University.