A poem by the leading French avant-garde poet whose one-line manifesto: “Shall we escape analogy?” marked the turn away from Surrealism. The poem as detective story that never solves the crime. So that there is only the investigation.
Royet-Journoud is one of the foremost French poets. He is author of Reversal, The Notion of Obstacle and Objects Contain the Infinite (Awede Press), A Descriptive Method (The Post-Apollo Press), and The Right Wall of the Heart Effaced (Duration Press). He has edited (with Emmanuel Hocquard) two major anthologies of new American poets, 21 +1 (Delta, 1986) and 49+1 (Royaumont 1991). Interviews (in English) have appeared in lingo #4 (1995) and in Serge Gavronsky: Toward a New Poetics, (U of CA Press, 1994).
“There is an implicit triangle underlying all his work–body : world : language. Thus triangle is only one figure in his complex geometry that constantly pushes outward to dissolve itself…. It is a geometry in which there are no wholes, for a whole implies a limit, an unrealistic closure …. The force arcing between the contradictions of body/ no body, speaking/ the unspeakable, here becomes a driving force, heading toward fragmentation on the one hand and fusion on the other. It is between these two accuracies that the human subject, as voice, must establish itself… Keith Waldrop is the ideal translator for these works because … Waldrop’s own poetry undertakes related and equally intricate questions.”
–Cole Swensen, Poetry Flash
“Royet-Journoud wants to empty out the very possibility of image-making and metaphorical language, and to leave readers with only the bare minimal surface of what can be said… at their best these small snippets of insight are truly astonishing.”
–Mark Wallace, Taproot Reviews
“With every artificial or decorative turn of phrase stripped away … the poem becomes a vertiginous scramble…”
–Catherine A. Salmons, Partisan Review
“C.R-J. is one of the most exciting poets of the new generation in France. Combining lyricism and narrative in a highly original way, his work is elegant, controlled and extremely moving…. Superb translations.”