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This review is taken from PN Review 97, Volume 20 Number 5, May - June 1994.

THE COLOURS OF PRESENCE YVES BONNEFOY, Écr Us sur l'art et livres avec les artistes(Flammarion) 200F
La Vie erran te (Mercure de France) 120F
Remarquessur le dessin (Mercure de France), 89E

SHAKESPEARE, Les Poemes: Wnus et Adonis, Le Viol de Lucrèce, Phénix et Colombe, translated with a preface by Yves Bonnefoy (Mercure de France) 79F

A new book by Bonnefoy is always an event. To have these four published in 1993 is riches indeed. And it was no small privilege for me to have spent two and a half days in December in closed session with him and some fifteen 'poeticians' from across the world at a symposium on poetry's self-awareness through the ages organised by him before retiring from his chairofpoeticsatthe College de France. Myone regret was not having been able to visit the exhibition at Tours, which by all accounts was superb and of which the Flammarion volume is the catalogue … and much more besides, since it includes essays on Bonnefoy and his relation to painting both as an art historian andas apoetcollaboratingwithartistsin producing livres d'artiste, substantial extracts from hiswritings onart, and an important interview with him under the title 'Leurre et vérité des images.

Colour has long since haunted Bonnefoy, both for itself and as an immediate image of an absolutely indivisible continuum. Searching for a point of vantage from which to observe keeps him constantly in the threshold's lure, since it is only from an in-between position that objects, ideas, thoughts and feelings can be plotted, andonlyfrom suchapivotalpointthat transgression can be recorded. The very arbitrariness of a given language's division of the spectrum has myriad implications for the poet, intercultural and ...


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