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April 30 , 2008

Cinepoems and Others


Benjamin Fondane was that rarest of poets: an experimental formalist with a powerfully lyric poetic style; a near-surrealist who embraced and produced his own version of existential philosophy; a Romanian poet who wrote in French; a self-consciously Jewish poet of diaspora and loss, whose last manuscripts made it out of Drancy just before his deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1945, where he was murdered, yet whose poetry speaks of a plenitude, an overflowing. After Fondane’s death, the poetry might have been forgotten had not writers like E. M. Cioran kept the memory of the work alive, and in France today, Fondane’s poetry is again widely available. This first American collection of Fondane’s poetry includes his surrealist“Cine-poems,” philosophical meditations, and poems that, in their secular/mystical Judaism, confront the calamity—and imaginative triumph—of European Jewry.
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Poems included in this collection are translated by Mitchell Abidor, Marianne Bailey, E.M. Cioran, Joseph Donahue, Eric Freedman, Henry King, Andrew Rubens, Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody, and Leonard Schwartz

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