By Raymond Roussel
Poet, novelist, playwright, and chess fanatic, Raymond Roussel (1877-1933) used to be one of many French belle époque's so much compelling literary figures. in the course of his lifetime, Roussel's paintings was once vociferously championed by way of the surrealists, yet by no means completed the common approval for which he yearned. New Impressions of Africa is unquestionably Roussel's so much impressive paintings. considering the fact that its book in 1932, this strange poem has slowly won cult prestige, and its admirers have integrated Salvador Dalì--who dubbed it the main "ungraspably poetic" paintings of the era--André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Marcel Duchamp, Michel Foucault, Kenneth Koch, and John Ashbery.
Roussel started writing New Impressions of Africa in 1915 whereas serving within the French military in the course of the First international conflict and it took him seventeen years to accomplish. "It is tough to think the huge period of time composition of this type of verse requires," he later commented. Mysterious, unnerving, hilarious, haunting, either conscientiously logical and dizzyingly chic, it truly is actually one of many hidden masterpieces of twentieth-century modernism.
This bilingual version of New Impressions of Africa offers the unique French textual content and the English poet Mark Ford's lucid, idiomatic translation on dealing with pages. additionally it is an advent outlining the poem's unusual constitution and evolution, notes explaining its literary and ancient references, and the fifty-nine illustrations anonymously commissioned via Roussel, through a detective company, from Henri-A. Zo.