Title: BESTIARY, OR THE PARADE OF ORPHEUS
Publisher: Godine, Boston
Publication Date: 1980
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: fine
Edition: First printing
Translated by Pepe Karmel. 16mo. Red-orange cloth with dark blue spine titles and cover decoration. an end papers. 66 pages. Woodcuts by Raoul Dufy. In illustrated dust-jacket (with price clipped). A crisp, as new copy. Bookseller Inventory # 1614
Synopsis: An early and influential champion of cubism, the friend of Braque, Picasso, Dufy, Rousseau and Marie Laurencin (who became his mistress), Apollinaire was a seminal figure in the revolutionary art style known as "Surrealism," a term that he coined some seven years before Breton formally founded the movement.
In this charming book, published in 1910 and embellished with the graphically sophisticated and totally appropriate woodcuts of Dufy, we find the poet at his most accessible. His quatrains, printed in Dante italic and felicitously translated by Pepe Karmel, present a voice that ranges from the colloquial to the impassioned, a brisk combination of lyric imagery and bawdy humor (not surprising for a poet who, after a pious adolescence, supported himself by writing pornography). This is a small bijou of a livre de peintre, a lovely and lively ensemble of accessible poetry and striking woodcut art.
From the Back Cover: This fascinating mixture of irony, elegance, and sometimes bitter insight is essential to a more complete understanding of Appollinaire's philosophy.
By no means a sober series of poems, the collection sparkles with wit and the Dufy woodcuts, created especially for Bestiary, transform the sequence into an enlightening and amusing work of art. Pepe Karmel's lively, modern translation, rendered in free verse, captures the spirit of the original.
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