Yves Bonnefoy: 'Prose', edited by Stephen Romer, Anthony Rudolf and John Naughton


A new selection of essays from the greatest French poet of the post-war, Yves Bonnefoy, translated into English for the first time


  • Following on from 2017’s celebrated Poems, this is a wide-ranging selection of Bonnefoy’s essays on literature, art and life
  • Bonnefoy is the best loved, most influential French poet since WWII, and a major translator of Shakespeare, Keats and Yeats
  • This selection was made in close collaboration with Bonnefoy, and translated and edited by Stephen Romer, John Naughton and Anthony Rudolf
  • Bonnefoy won the Prix Goncourt, the Hudson Review’s Bennett Award and the Franz Kafka Prize


Yves Bonnefoy (1923–2016), a major poet, was equally a seminal essayist and thinker. This second and final volume of the Yves Bonnefoy Reader, contains what he regarded as his foundational essays, as well as a generous selection of essays from all periods translated into English for the first time. Subjects include comparative French and English poetics, Shakespeare’s theatre, the paintings of Piero della Francesca and Poussin, the sculpture of Bernini, Mozart’s operas, a re-assessment of Rimbaud, the impact of photography on art, and much more. The range is broad, but the metaphysical challenge is the same: to affirm presence, and finitude, against all forms of life-sapping conceptual thought. Language may have become suspect, but these essays affirm the ‘project of hope’ that was Bonnefoy’s from the outset. A range of translators contributes, from the editors whose work on Bonnefoy is celebrated and of long standing, to Iain Bamforth, Michael Bishop, Hilary Davies, Jennie Feldman, Emily Grosholz, Mark Hutchinson, Steven Jaron, Viviane Lowe, Hoyt Rogers, John Taylor and Ahren Warner.
‘His writings... are an important lighthouse on the contemporary cultural coastline.’ — JACOB POLLEY

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