Bernat Manciet: Ode to James Dean
One of the major Occitan writers of the latter half of the 20th century, Bernat Manciet (1923–2005) was the author of numerous works of poetry, fiction, drama, and non-fiction, and editor (for some thirty years) of the revue Òc. This 1958 poem, a hallucinatory verbal meditation on the death of the American actor, captures the "brutal, sharp, abrasive, wily, loutish, irascible, burning, rash, fighting, aggressive" qualities that Manciet prized in Occitan. It appears here in a bilingual edition with a translation by Pierre Joris and Nicole Peyrafitte.
Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj
Well-versed and well-read in Sufi mysticism, Joris appears throughout these captivating Meditations as a nomadizing poet-scholar—a poeta doctus in the classical sense: whether it is the manners, or pockets of the desert, Baghdad bombings or Hallaj’s set of stations that caught his eye (a poeta vates?) and fired up the engine of his writing, Joris—poeta faber—also always guides us back to the material flux of language that constitutes these Meditations. —Peter Cockelbergh
Poems for the Millennium, Volume Four: The University of California Book of North African Literature
The fourth volume of the landmark Poems for the Millennium series, edited by Pierre Joris and Habib Tengour is a comprehensive gathering of the written and oral literatures of the Maghreb, the region of North Africa that spans the modern nation states of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania, and including a section on the influential Arabo-Berber and Jewish literary culture of Al-Andalus, which flourished in Spain between the ninth and fifteenth centuries. Beginning with the earliest pictograms and rock drawings and ending with the work of the current generation of post-independence and diasporic writers, this volume takes in a range of cultures and voices, including Berber, Phoenician, Jewish, Roman, Vandal, Arab, Ottoman, and French. The selections are contextualized by a general introduction that situates the importance of this little-known culture area and individual commentaries for nearly each author.