This volume includes Hugh Hazelton's English translations of Yannick Renaud's brilliant and dark first two books of poems, Taxidermie (2005), a discourse on time consisting of prose poems stretched to the very limits of detachment, and La Disparition des Idées (2006), a meditation on time that interrogates mortality and mourning, reminding us that “death remains the privilege of the living.?
Yannick Renaud works in Montreal for Éditions les Herbes Rouges. Administrative director of the poetry review Estuaire, he has long been active in the production of literary events in Quebec.
Hugh Hazelton specializes in teaching and translating Quebec poetry.
Author: Yannick Renaud works in Montreal for Les éditions Les Herbes rouges. He is also administrative director of the poetry review Estuaire and has long been active in the production of literary events in Quebec.
Hugh Hazelton is a writer and translator who specializes in poetry from Quebec and Latin America. His translation of Vétiver, by Joël Des Rosiers, won the Governor General’s award for French-English translation in 2006. He teaches spanish translation and Latin American civilization at Concordia University in Montreal.
Part meditation on mourning, part discourse on the body, part exploration of the physics ofhuman love,All Is Flesh collects Hugh Hazelton's English translations of Quebec-based poet Yannick Renaud's first two books, Taxidermy and The Disappearance of Ideas. Taxidermy traces the alternating movement and stasis of two lovers who embark on a curious choreography of flesh. The Disappearance of Ideas reminds us how "death remains the privilege of the living"; life, in this conception, becomes a way to recuperate from our continual encounters with the "solitary void that depends on silence." Renaud leaves the work of mourning unresolved and unsentimentalized, but cites the body as a channel of communication, its primary function to apprehend and console another person. Perhaps most striking is the collection's sense of ethics and of the human duty to love the other- something the poet insists is less a poetic, theoretical task than a material, political one. The notion of the world as a field of corporeality and of human life as a navigation of various forms ofloving echoes certain Kierkegaardian notions of love, in particular the unrequited and unwavering love involved in remembering those who have passed yet remain "Ghosts of the present." Renaud's poems are untitled and structured sentence-like on the page, simultaneously defying canonical form and reflecting the poet's thematic interest in testing the limits of bodily constraints. The fragmentary style of the prose poems allows for ontological exploration. Hazelton's translation reads with radiant and imaginative originality, and provides an instance of aesthetic transformation even as it offers images both inspiring and dark. .All Is Flesh does the recuperative work of reclaiming the body, something often lost to us along the trajectory of the everyday. - Adebe DeRango-Adem, author of ex nihilo (Frontenac House).