Geometries by Guillevic
(Lost Literature)

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Poetry. Translated from the French by Richard Sieburth. Guillevic wrote GEOMETRIES (Euclidiennes in French) in the early sixities, after his friend, the poet Andre Frenaud, recognizing in his poetry an inclination toward mathematics, and more specifically geometry, encouraged him to pursue this direction. Guillevic places a series of geometrical figures before our eyes, as they might appear in a schoolchild's primer, paired with poems that let us hear how these forms might speak. These talking circles, squares and angles--these articulations of space--are in turn meant to remind us of our own figures of speech. Guillevic's GEOMETRIES fits into the 1960s return to emblems, signs, and playful constraints both in art (Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and even Andy Warhol) and in writing (the Noigandres poets, Oulipo, Eugen Gomringer, the Robert Creeley of Pieces). But at the same time, the Euclidean world of forms here explored remains as timeless as the stones of Guillevic's own Carnac.

About Guillevic

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Born in 1907 in Carnac in Brittany, Eugene Guillevic began writing poetry as a child at school, where he encountered Jean La Fontaine's fables, learning many of them by heart (an experience that would influence much of Guillevic's poetry). After completing his Baccalaureate in Mathematics, Guillevic went on to serve as Inspecteur d'Economie Nationale for the Ministry of France. His career, with its legal and managerial demands, had a significant and firm effect on his poetry, which moves away from the Surrealist "obsession" with the Image, and toward the clarity of the Object. Over thirty volumes of his poems have been published to date. He has been translated into fifty languages and his works are available in some sixty countries. Guillevic received Le Grand Prix de Poesie from the French Academy in 1976 and Le Grand Prix National de Poesie in 1984. Guillevic died in 1997.
Published June 1, 2010 by Ugly Duckling Presse. 80 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Geometries

The Paris Review

// You will have plenty of time / To rehearse and remember / This moment, // To convince yourself / We’ll never part.” —Robyn Creswell.

Oct 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Geometries (Lost Literature)

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