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The Forest

Spring Faculty Discussion Group

Please plan to attend the first presentation in the Spring Faculty Discussion Group Series at Glen Rowan on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at noon. Lunch will be served.

Professor of French, Jean-Luc Garneau, and Associate Professor of English, Josh Corey,

Wednesday, January 25th at 12pm

Translating Francis Ponge: An Extraordinary Poet of Ordinary Things

In 1942, one of the darkest years of World War II, the French poet Francis Ponge published his first full-length book, an innocuous-seeming collection of prose poems about ordinary things: an oyster, a cigarette, the rain, trees shedding their leaves. Ponge began his career associated with the French Surrealists; after Le parti pris des choses, the literal meaning of which is something like “taking the side of things,” became a seminal collection of poetry, he was praised by Jean-Paul Sartre as a forerunner of existentialism; still others see him as a forerunner of ecopoetics and the philosophical movement known as new or vital materialism, while those concerned with American poetry find his work resonates with that of Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, and Lorine Niedecker.  Professors Corey and Garneau have worked together to produce the first translation of Ponge’s book into English in more than twenty years,attempting to carry Ponge’s Duchampian wit and phenomenological eye into a fluent American English. Retitled Partisan of Things, in honor of Ponge’s wartime service in the French Resistance, it was published last fall by Chicago-based press Kenning Editions. Professors Corey and Garneau will read from the work and discuss the process of collaboration.