This generous, varied selection of poems by one of France's best-loved and most reviled poets is presented with facing originals, detailed notes, and a lively introduction to the author's life and work.
Steven Monte presents more than eighty poems in translation and in the original French, taken from the earliest poetic publications of the 1820's, through collections published during exile, to works published in the years following Hugo's death in 1883. The introduction provides helpful background information about Hugo's life and work, the selection, and what is involved in translating a poet whose effortless rhymes are central to the poetry's power. Detailed notes at the back of the volume offer information about the poems and their publishing and historical contexts. This is an ideal introduction to a poet whose work, for all its renown, remains for Anglophone readers undiscovered.
"Monte brings over something of what is usually gets lost in translation. His versions have an alluring unfamiliarity, they retain foreignness without sounding foreign." -- Patrick McGuinness, London Review of Books