"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, Lecturer in French at the University of Glasgow School of Modern Languages and Cultures, author of Benjamin Fondane and Benjamin Fondane et la révolte existentielle
"Benjamin Fondane closely identified with the figure of Ulysses: a wanderer, an exile. Like James Joyce's Leopold Bloom, Fondane's Ulysses was also Jewish, but unlike Bloom and the classical Ulysses, Fondane's Ulysses has no Ithaca to return to, no Penelope or Molly waiting for him. His poem of irremediable exile and alienation stands as a vital expression of the concerns of modern existence. Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody deserves our gratitude for bringing this important poem before the English-speaking public."—Bruce Baugh, professor of philosophy, Thompson Rivers University
"Nathaniel Rudavsky-Brody's admirable translation from the French finally brings the perpetual voyage of Ulysses to English-speaking readers. This voyage takes Fondane's poet-traveler to South America, to North America, and through memories of the pogroms of Romania. He is tormented by thirst, a symbol of the unquenchable desire that flows through this poetry reminiscent of high oratory, a poetry that constantly implicates the reader through its performative language: prayer, pleading, accusation. Fondane's Ulysses is a landmark work of French literature and one that is not to be missed."—Alexander Dickow, 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."—Lynn Hoggard, Translation Review
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