René Char - book author
René Char spent his childhood in Névons, the substantial family home completed at his birth, then studied as a boarder at the school of Avignon and subsequently, in 1925, a student at L'École de Commerce de Marseille, where he read Plutarch, François Villon, Racine, the German Romantics, Alfred de Vigny, Gérard de Nerval and Charles Baudelaire.
His first book, Cloches sur le cœur was published in 1928 as a compilation of poems written between 1922 and 1926. In late November 1929, Char moved to Paris, where he met Louis Aragon, André Breton, and René Crevel, and joined the surrealists. He remained active in the surrealist movement through the early 1930s but distanced himself gradually from the mid-1930s onward. Throughout his career, Char's work appeared in various editions, often with artwork by notable figures, including Kandinsky, Picasso, Braque, Miró, Matisse and Vieira da Silva.
Char was a friend and close associate of Albert Camus, Georges Bataille and Maurice Blanchot among writers, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Nicolas de Staël, Georges Braque and Victor Brauner among painters. He was to have been in the car involved in the accident that killed both Camus and Gallimard, but there was not enough room, and returned instead that day by train to Paris.
The composer Pierre Boulez wrote three settings of Char's poetry, Le Soleil des eaux, Le visage nuptial, and Le marteau sans maître. A late friendship developed also between Char and Martin Heidegger, who described Char's poetry as "a tour de force into the ineffable" and was repeatedly his guest at La Thor in the Vaucluse.
René Char is the author of books: Fureur et mystère, Selected Poems, Leaves of Hypnos, Lettera Amorosa ; suivi de, Guirlande Terrestre, Poems of Rene Char, Stone Lyre: Poems of Rene Char, The Brittle Age and Returning Upland, خاکستر ناتمام: گزیده شعرها, Поезия. Избрано, This Smoke That Carried Us: Selected Poems
Translated from the French and annotated by Mary Ann Caws and Jonathan Griffin.
Admired by Heidegger for the profundity of his poetic philosophy, Char (1907–1988) was also a hero of the French Resistance and in the 1960s a militant anti-nuclear protester. For a time associated with the Surrealist movement, his poetry later changed to work that confronted major moral, political, and artistic concerns of the 20th century. The exquisite translations by Susanne Dubroff maintain the simplicity of vision and expression that link Char to the poet-philosophers of ancient Greece. Presented side by side in French and in English, the book offers a comprehensive selection of work that spans the life of this great poet and will be a valuable additon to the libraries of both readers and students of either language.