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Lavish Absence: Recalling and Rereading Edmond Jabes [Paperback]

By Rosmarie Waldrop (Author)
Our Price $ 15.80  
Retail Value $ 17.95  
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Item Number 93482  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   150
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.64" Width: 5.7" Height: 0.66"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 2003
Publisher   Wesleyan
ISBN  0819565806  
EAN  9780819565808  

Availability  2 units.
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Item Description...
Edmond Jabes (1912-1991) is widely regarded as one of France's most important writers of the 20th century. Born in Cairo, he settled in France after being expelled from Egypt with other Jews during the 1956 Suez Crisis. Rosmarie Waldrop is Jabes's primary English translator. Over the course of her long association and friendship with Jabes, Waldrop developed a very nuanced understanding of his work that in turn influenced her development as both writer and translator. Lavish Absence is a book-length essay with a triple focus: it is a memoir of Jabes as Waldrop knew him, it is both an homage to and an explication of Jabes's work, and it is a meditation on the process of translation. The writing interweaves these topics, evoking Jabes's own interest in the themes of exile and nomadism.

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More About Rosmarie Waldrop

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Rosmarie Waldrop was born in Kitzingen am Main, Germany, on August 24, 1935. At the age of ten, she spent half a year acting with a traveling theater. She has studied at Wuerzburg, Freiburg, Aix-Marseille and Michigan Universities, earning her Ph.D. in 1966. She has lived in the United States since 1958. Waldrop began publishing her poetry in English in the late 1960s and since 1968 has been co-editor and publisher of Burning Deck Press with her husband, the poet and translator Keith Waldrop. The pair met in 1954 while he was stationed in Kitzingen after the Second World War. She is now the author of more than three dozen books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, most recently her trilogy Curves to the Apple: The Reproduction of Profiles, Lawn of Excluded Middle, Reluctant Gravities (New Directions, 2006), and a collection of essays, Dissonance (University of Alabama Press, 2005). Her other poetry titles include Splitting Image (2006), Blindsight (2004), Love, Like Pronouns (2003), Well Well Reality (1998, with Keith Waldrop), Reluctant Gravities (1999), Split Infinites (1998), Another Language: Selected Poems (1997), A Key Into the Language of America (1994), Lawn of the Excluded Middle (1993), Peculiar Motions (1990), Shorter American Memory (1988), The Reproduction of Profiles (1987), Streets Enough to Welcome Snow (1986), Differences for Four Hands (1984), Nothing Has Changed (1981), When They Have Senses (1980), The Road Is Everywhere or Stop This Body (1978), and The Aggressive Ways of the Casual Stranger (1972). In the early 1970s, she spent a year in Paris, where she met several leading avant garde French poets, including Claude Royet-Journoud, Anne-Marie Albiach, and Edmond Jabes. These writers not only influenced Waldrop's work greatly, but worked with her as she became one of the main translators of their work into English, with Burning Deck acting as a major vehicle in introducing their work to an English-language readership. She has since translated more than twenty books, including works by Paul Celan, Elke Erb, Joseph Guglielmi, Emmanuel Hocquard, Friederike Mayroecker, Jacques Roubaud, and Alain Veinstein. She received the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for her 1993 rendering of The Book of Margins by Edmond Jabes. About her work, the poet Diane Wakoski has said, "Rosmarie Waldrop writes the poetry of everyday life and asks her reader to look beyond it, not by dazzling you with spectacular images or fancy metaphors but by simply quietly invoking you to look, listen, reflect." Waldrop's honors include the Rhode Island Governor's Arts Award, the PEN/Book-of-the-Month-Club Citation for Translation, a Translation Center Award, and Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in Poetry and Translation. She has taught at Wesleyan University and, as occasional visitor, at Tufts and Brown. She currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island.

Rosmarie Waldrop has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Modern and Contemporary Poetics

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Valuable to translators, readers of contemporary literature...  Jun 20, 2006
In Lavish Absence, Rosemarie Waldrop accomplishes three things. First she gives us a sense of Edmond Jabes the man and his relationships with various friends and family. As is often the case, familarity with his background enriches our appreciation for his work.

Second, she provides a framework for understanding Jabes' thought - the margins, erasure, exile, desert etc. She gives us his understanding without references to deconstructionism, semiotics or other theories floating around the rarified air of understanding the use of language that were contemporanious with Jabes. Rather, in plain and understandable prose she introduces us to his understanding.

Finally, she gives us insight into the choices and difficulties of translating - in general and in particular. In doing so, she not only expands our understanding of Jabes but influences how we read all translations.

Excellent book, enjoyable read, and worth multiple reads.
A "must-read" combination of memoir and literary criticism  Mar 9, 2003
Lavish Absence: Recalling And Rereading Edmond Jabes is a blend of Rosmarie Waldrop's thoughtful and personal biography (combined with her personal meditations) of Edmond Jabes (1912-1991), a French poet and writer of cherished and insightful works. Written by his close friend and primary English translator Rosmarie Waldrop, Lavish Absence recalls Jabes' life and work with special consideration for Jabes' themes of exile and nomadism. Lavish Absence is a "must-read" combination of memoir and literary criticism which is especially recommended for poetry enthusiasts who enjoy Edmond Jabes' writings.
awash in a gift  Jan 14, 2003
Rosmarie Waldrop presents small, various accounts of the relationship she has had with the French poet Edmond Jabes. The relationship is manifold for her as she recounts, first as a poet and reader, then as a translator and friend to Jabes. These sparks of recollection accumulate unpredictably and gently.

Waldrop generously shares her intelligent courses of reading Jabes, her nearly vertiginous trials, translating the rhythms and puns of his books, as well as some amusing events and anecdotes about the life of the poet. Of course, Jabes is not present on account of such a mixture of sharings, but Waldrop's book enriches one's idea of Jabes. It is most difficult to find an assemblage as rich about Jabes' life and work in English, let alone one as touching and pleasant. I read this book in an evening and found myself popping all about, in the notes seeking the French versions of the poetry translated in the text, the bibliography out back, and front again to review a joke or echo of sentence at hand.

In addition to the pleasure one might have reading about the Jabeses and their milieu, this book may be welcomed for its candid discussion of translation, its goals and methods. Some of Waldrop's solutions to vexing passages are ingenious and exciting.

There are very few books of this nature. Illuminating translator's tales are rare and rarer still are the anecdotal sharings of the translator's interactions and impressions of her source. I recommend this book highly to those with an interest in Edmond Jabes, poetry after WWII, translation or writers in exile. It also allows part of the author's own life to develop in front of the poetry on view.


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