"This meditative and rhapsodic travelogue of a Romanian Jew takes the reader from the poet's childhood home to Paris in its heyday, between the Wars, and on a voyage down the coast of Africa, across to South America, and back, presenting his travels as both a mythic tale and an existential search."—Brooks Haxton, author of They Lift Their Wings to Cry
"The translator's careful consideration of the complexities of the original is not only a faithful transposition, but also an accessible and enjoyable experience for the anglophone reader… highly commendable."—Olivier Salazar-Ferrer, author of Benjamin Fondane and Benjamin Fondane et la révolte existentielle
"Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody deserves our gratitude for bringing this important poem before the English-speaking public."—Bruce Baugh, professor of philosophy, Thompson Rivers University
"Fondane’s Ulysses is a landmark work of French literature and one that is not to be missed."—Asymptote Journal
"Benjamin Fondane’s Ulysses offers English readers a work that for nearly a century vanished from the world, adding that work to the canon of noteworthy French poetry of the 1930s. That Fondane’s voice also anticipates the homme révolté of existentialism gives still more weight to his achievement."—Translation Review
"Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody’s translation represents an important transcultural contribution to the acknowledgment of the Jewish-Romanian-French poet’s work beyond the French speaking world."—Journal of Modern Jewish Studies
"Ulysses is not a fragment of one man’s experiences before and during the war. Its themes of upheaval, wanderlust, statelessness and the sheer force of individual experience are still ours today, and we can hope that this translation will open up Fondane’s world to wider audiences of readers and translators."—Modern Poetry in Translation
From 1923, when he emigrated from Bucharest, to his deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1944, Benjamin Fondane made a unique and independent-minded contribution to the literary and intellectual life of Paris. One of the most significant pieces in Fondane’s body of work is the long poem Ulysses, first published in 1933. Fondane considerably revised his text during the dark years of occupied Paris, and it is this second “edition without an end,” left unfinished at the time of his deportation, that is translated here. It is a moving testament to the poetic voice and philosophical engagement of this exceptional figure of the Paris avant-garde.
Benjamin Fondane (1898–1944) was a Romanian Jew who immigrated to France. He is the author of several collections of poetry and philosophical essays.
Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody has translated the work of French and Belgian poets, including Paul Valéry and Benjamin Fondane. In 2013, he was awarded the Susan Sontag Prize for Translation.
6 x 9, 184 pages