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Book of the Snow by Francois Jacqmin


Book of the Snow by Francois Jacqmin

An intriguing set of short, deceptively simple poems, The Book of the Snow meditates on our relation to the austere beauty and elemental power of the midwinter scene. It is also a subtle, witty, occasionally savage critique of our philosophical and artistic complacency. While pretending to literary defeatism, Francois Jacqmin captivates us with the deft touch of an accomplished poet. Philip Mosley's beautifully modulated translation of the last collection to be published in the poet's lifetime, only two years before his death in 1992, makes available to English-language readers for the first time the work of one of Belgium's foremost francophone poets of the twentieth century.

About the Author

FRANCOIS JACQMIN (author), acknowledged as one of the foremost francophone Belgian poets of the latter half of the twentieth century, was born in 1929 in Horion-Hozemont in the province of Liege. In 1940 his family fled to England to escape the German occupation. He learned English in a school run by Spanish Jesuits, discovered English literature, and wrote his first unpublished poems in English. He returned to Belgium in 1948 and rediscovered his native language and literature. His association with the irreverent, experimental group that formed around the magazine Phantomas inspired him to develop a distinctive identity as a poet inspired by art, nature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. His three major volumes of poetry are Les Saisons (1979), Le Domino gris (1984), and Le Livre de la neige (1990). Elements de geometrie, a volume of prose poems written a few years before his death in 1992, was published in 2005. PHILIP MOSLEY (translator) is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Pennsylvania State University. He earned his M.A. in European literature and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of East Anglia. Among his book publications are Split Screen: Belgian Cinema and Cultural Identity, Ingmar Bergman: The Cinema as Mistress, and Georges Rodenbach: Critical Essays. He has translated The Intelligence of Flowers by Maurice Maeterlinck, Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach, Tea Masters, Teahouses by Werner Lambersy, and October Long Sunday by Guy Vaes. In 2008 he was awarded the Prix de la Traduction Litteraire by the French Community of Belgium for his translations of Belgian authors into English. CLIVE SCOTT (introduction) is Professor Emeritus of European Literature at the University of East Anglia. His principal research interests lie in French and comparative poetics (The Poetics of French Verse: Studies in Reading, 1998; Channel Crossings: French and English Poetry in Dialogue 1550-2000, 2002 [awarded the R.H. Gapper Book Prize, 2004]); in literary translation, and in particular the translation of poetry (Translating Baudelaire, 2000; Translating Rimbaud's 'Illuminations', 2006); and in photography's relationship with writing (The Spoken Image: Photography and Language, 1999; Street Photography: From Atget to Cartier-Bresson, 2007). He is at present working on a book on the translation of Apollinaire's poetry. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1994.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th January 2010


Francois Jacqmin

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Arc Publications


142 pages


Poetry by individual poets



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