Thousand Times Broken

Thousand Times Broken

Three Books

Book - 2014 | First City Lights books edition
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"Thousand Times Broken collects three never-before-translated texts by Henri Michaux. Composed between 1956 and 1959, during Michaux's mescaline experiments, the texts include 400 Men on the Cross, a contemplation of his loss of Catholic faith; "Peace in the Breaking," a poem written under the influence of mescaline; and Watchtowers on Targets, a singular, automatic collaboration with surrealist painter Roberto Matta. "To record the ineffable is Michaux's paradoxical project in these stunning works from the mid- to late-50s. Central to his oeuvre, to his life-long effort to come to terms with faith, they radiate an uncommon immediacy and conviction. Conoley's excellent selection-combining drawings, asemic writings, poetry, and prose commentary-offers the variety of perspectives required to appreciate the true scope of his project, and her translation keeps the writing-with all its eclectic vocabulary and dressage pacing-vibrantly alive. This is an invaluable addition to Michaux's works in English, filling an important gap with a vivid, vibrant linguistic performance."--Cole Swensen "The remarkable and singular Michaux: poet, visual artist, travel writer, novelist, "all intimately related," as Octavio Paz once noted. In his quest for the inexpressible, Michaux represents the ultimate paradox, at once visionary mystic and rationalist, as he seeks to chart the journey without end. Gillian Conoley's skilled and vital translations, as well as her deeply illuminating commentaries on the three extraordinary volumes collected here, are indeed a revelation and a gift." - Michael Palmer "In Gillian Conoley's committed, devoted translation, with her thoughtful introduction, appear three visionary works from Henri Michaux. Michaux's turbulent but nuanced struggle with the cosmic defamiliarization of verbal and visual art registers risk wherein alphabetical signs become marks or figures, and figures become signs, become words. Dynamic, provocative relationships seek and meet exquisite encounters, a little black angel, the secret of life, 'this tree with fine branches.' Evolving thematic concerns such as body, spirit, faith and fate sing with an electric charge." - Norma Cole "Henri Michaux was a poet's poet and also a poet's artist, yet he was also, as John Ashbery so beautifully put it, "hardly a painter, hardly even a writer, but a conscience - the most sensitive substance yet discovered for registering the fluctuating anguish of day-to-day, minute-to-minute living." In these three remarkable works from the late fifties, in which the activity of inscription inhabits the abstract mark as well as the signifying word, Michaux "perceived what one otherwise doesn't perceive, what one hardly suspects if at all." Now, through Gillian Conoley's impassioned translation, Anglophone readers can perceive it too." - Barry Schwabsky, poet and critic for The NationOne of the most influential French writers and visual artists of the twentieth century, Henri Michaux was known for his explorations of perception and consciousness. Gillian Conoley is the author of seven books of poetry and edits the long-running journal Volt."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: San Francisco : City Lights Books, 2014
Edition: First City Lights books edition
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9780872866485
Branch Call Number: 841.912 MICHAUX
Characteristics: 162 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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