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The Brittle Age and Returning Upland
Poetry. Bilingual Edition. Translated from the French by Gustaf Sobin. When Gustaf Sobin arrived in France at the age of twenty-seven in 1963, he befriended the poet Rene Char, who, as Sobin writes, "taught me my trade." "Rene Char taught me, first, to read particulars: that the meticulously observed detail, drawn from nature, could provide the key to the deepest reaches of the imaginary. One and the other, the visible and the invisible, were but the interface of a single, singular, vibratory surface: that of the poem itself." THE BRITTLE AGE AND RETURNING UPLAND are two volumes from Char's work of the mid to late 1960s that Sobin chose to translate in full. Here, side by side with Char's French text, it is possible to see Sobin building his poetic vocabulary within and as a result of the practice of his mentor, "scrupulously tracking the very trajectories of desire, leading] one onto the sonorous landscapes of the revelatory."