David Lespiau: Four Cut-Ups, or, the Case of the Restored Volume


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Real and fictional characters (Mrs. Lindbergh, Gertrude Stein, William Burroughs, Billy Budd or the Kid) circulate through the four parts of Four Cut-ups or The Case of the Restored Volume which, in the way of a mobile, uses constant movement to construct a precise form out of fragmented perceptions, ideas, stories, quotations. A form that gives a strangely uncanny sheen to the most realistic details.

Born in 1969 in Bayonne, David Lespiau lives and works in Marseille. His prose, poetry, and reviews have appeared in many magazines (Revue de Littérature Générale, If, Action poétique, Fin, Java, Nioques, etc). He coedited the journal Issue (2002-2005) and has translated Charles Reznikoff as well as, with others, Joan Retallack, Kristin Prevallet, and Elizabeth Willis.

An English version by Cole Swensen is part of his trilingual Ouija-Board (2008). Among his other books are L’épreuve du Prussien, La poursuite de Tom (both 2003), La poule est un oiseau autodidacte (2005), La fille du département Fiction (2007), and Djinn jaune (2008).

Keith Waldrop’s recent books are Transcendental Studies (National Book Award in Poetry), Several Gravities (collages, Siglio Press), The Real Subject, and the trilogy: The Locality Principle, The Silhouette of the Bridge (America Award, 1997) and Semiramis, If I Remember. He has translated Baudelaire as well as contemporary French poets like Anne-Marie Albiach, Claude Royet-Journoud, Paol Keineg, Dominique Fourcade, and Jean Grosjean. He was born in Kansas and teaches at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.