The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry


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Edited by Mary Ann Caws

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A comprehensive bilingual collection of twentieth-century French poetry

Not since the publication of Paul Auster’s The Random House Book of 20th Century French Poetry (1984) has there been a significant and widely read anthology of modern French poetry in the English-speaking world. Here for the first time is a comprehensive bilingual representation of French poetic achievement in the twentieth century, from the turn-of-the-century poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire to the high modernist art of Samuel Beckett to the contemporary verse of scourge Michel Houellebecq. Many of the English translations (on facing pages) are justly celebrated, composed by eminent figures such as T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and John Ashbery; many others are new and have been commissioned for this book.

Distinguished scholar and editor Mary Ann Caws has chosen work by more than 100 poets. Her deliberately extensive, international selection includes work by Francophone poets, by writers better known for accomplishments in other genres (novelists, songwriters, performance artists), and by many more female poets than have typically been represented in past anthologies of modern French poetry. The editor has opted for a chronological organization that highlights six crucial “pressure points” in modern French poetry. Accompanying the selections are a general introduction, informative essays on each period, and short biographical notes—all prepared by the editor.

Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature at the Graduate School, City University of New York.

A selection of Readers’ Subscription

"This wide-ranging compendium of twentieth-century French poetry from Europe, Africa, and the Americas is indispensable for anyone interested in the art of the poem. Mary Ann Caws presents poems of dazzling formal invention, emotional pitch, and thematic scope. This edition, with facing pages of French and English, and a set of illuminating notes preceding each entry, is generous, capacious, and captivating."—Charles Bernstein

"Let’s raise a glass to Mary Ann Caws and the new Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry. Her scholarship, editorial skills, and brilliant army of poet-translators have produced the first fully comprehensive, panoramic, one hundred-year vision of everything Francophone: from Paris to Martinique, from Apollinaire to the Workshop of Potential Literature. It’s all here, a fathomless case of champagne, deserving, as in Mallarmé’s Salut, ‘of the white care of our sail.’”—Janet Hamill, author of Lost Ceilings

“A monumental work that will serve as a point of reference for contemporary French studies for many years to come. Reaching beyond canonical works and authors, it runs through culture at large with unsurpassed force and elegance. It will change the course of French studies.”—Tom Conley, Harvard University

“This reviewer cannot imagine a better editor for this enterprise than Caws. . . . This exploration of 120 poets of the past century is scholarly, free of jargon, and always mindful of the non-Francophone reader. Essential.”—Choice

ISBN: 9780300143188
Publication Date: September 9, 2008
704 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4

Table of Contents (PDF)

Écritures de femmes

Nouvelles cartographies

Edited by Mary Ann Caws, Mary Jean Green, Marianne Hirsch,

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Picasso and the Allure of Language

Susan Greenberg Fisher; With Mary Ann Caws, Jennifer R.

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