"I cannot live without books." -- Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Raymond Roussel's "New Impressions of Africia"

First of all anyone who is interested in 20th century literature should have a copy of this book. Number two, beyond the hype or stories how this book affected the 20th Century and beyond - this is pretty damn great book. Raymond Roussel was one of those guys who had it. And yes extremely wealthy and extremely neurotic - but nevertheless a superb genius. 

So what we have is a poetry book that is also probably the most clever "literary" puzzle ever. The translator Mark Ford, who is also the English biographer of M. Roussel did a remarkable and perhaps impossible translation. Yet the popular pop culture of this work comes through and it really lives in the 21st Century.  Now bring on  the big budget Broadway version of this poem on stage!

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