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Complete Poetry and Prose: A Bilingual Edition (Other Voice in Early Modern Europe) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 15. Mai 2006


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Louise Labe (1522-66) remains one of the most important and influential women writers of the Renaissance. Best known for her exquisite collection of love sonnets, Labe played off the Petrarchan male tradition with wit and irony, and her elegies respond with lyric skill to predecessors such as Sappho and Ovid. The first complete bilingual edition of this singular female author, "Complete Poetry and Prose" also features the only translations of Labe's sonnets to follow the exacting rhyme patterns of the originals and the first rhymed translation of Labe's elegies in their entirety.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Deborah Lesko Baker is associate professor and chair of French at Georgetown University. Annie Finch is the director of the Stonecoast Low-Residency Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern Maine.

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Indispensable for the French Lit enthusiast 20. März 2007
Von Sherringford Clark - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This is an excellent edition of the complete works of Louise Labe, who is one of the most important women writers of the French Renaissance and whose poetry is especially wonderful, providing a much-needed female perspective on the love lyric. One mustn't ignore Labe's prose however, for her "Debate of Folly and Love" is an excellent addition to the literary tradition of the debate and showcases Labe's proto-feminism.

Deborah Lesko Baker provides excellent introductions to Labe's poetry and prose, describing her life and times and her relation to other Renaissance writers (esp. Christine de Pisan). Baker illuminates Labe's role as a distinctively female writer and how her sonnets respond to those of Petrarch. Essentially, then, Baker provides all the background necessary for a full understanding of Labe, and she also supplies copious and helpful footnotes to Labe's works.

In addition, Annie Finch's translations of Labe's poetry are superb, capturing the spirit of the originals (of course, the french is on the facing page). All in all, this is an essential purchase for anyone interested in Labe or French Renaissance literature, being the only complete bilingual edition of Labe's works available and a model for all scholarly editions of its kind.
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A moving saga, poignant yet explosive ! 14. Mai 2007
Von Carol Tanjutco - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
My mentor Lee Slonimsky (of Pythagoras In Love) highly recommended this
author because of the similarity in the tone of our "walking poems".
The prose and poetry by Louise Labe, with excellent translation by Annie Finch, depicts a poignant tale of love and passion that transcends death.
The markings in her tombstone brought me tears, while her sizzling passionate poem (of kisses) mirrors my own romantic expressions in poetry.
Simply loved it! Kudos to Annie Finch for capturing such fine moments of a French lover, in English.
a beautifully mastered formality livened by vernacular wit and speed 20. November 2014
Von Glenn J. Shea - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
: LA BELLE CORDIERE. Louise Labe wrote her moving and intimate verses in Lyon in the sixteenth century, at a time when French poetry had glamors and glories very neatly parallel to those of English: the model and influence of Petrarch, a pure lyric impulse matched by adventurous intellect, a beautifully mastered formality livened by vernacular wit and speed. I love Labe—she’s one of my favorite Renaissance poets—but I’m uncertain as to how far she’s likely to make it into English. The sheer accomplishment of the verse, its mix of artistry and directness, its ease and achieved style, as with her masters, Ronsard and du Bellay, even lesser and lovely poets like Philippe Desportes, are likely to leave all but the most inspired translators with little but pale simulacra. In the only current complete English-language edition of Labe’s work (COMPLETE POETRY AND PROSE, edited with prose translations by Deborah Lesko Baker and poetry translations by Annie Finch, Chicago, 2006) Baker’s versions of the prose—the famous Dedicatory Epistle and “Debate of Folly and Love”—are readable enough; Finch’s rhymed-couplet versions of the Elegies work better, because simpler, than with the more tangled challenges of the sonnets, which are, finally, the real core of Labe’s work. Better to take these renderings as usable cribs or, if your French is up to it, stick to Francois Rigolot’s wonderful (and inexpensive) edition, published by Garnier Flammarion in 1986. The critical introduction by Baker in the Chicago edition is intelligent but, sweet Jesus hung on the cross with nails, the prose is awful: a style so abstract and Latinate as to make Samuel Johnson look like blunt Saxon muttering. And nowhere in this mess of jargon is there any urgent sense that Labe meant any of it, that she is remarkable, even among the riches of Renaissance verse, for a style marked by utter conviction.
Of course, I could be mistaken. In the most recent academic attention to Labe she has received the Homeric, indeed Shakespearean level of flattery: dismemberment. In LOUISE LABE, CREATURE DE PAPIER (Droz), Mireille Huchon has denied Labe the authorship of the book published under her name and parceled her work out to Maurice Sceve and other poets of his Lyonnais circle. Oh, the horror…. Online there is not only much discussion of “The Huchon Hypothesis” but a variety of texts and translations: infionline.net offers a good selection of both. There’s a charming brief chapter on Rilke’s translation of Labe’s sonnets in Alberto Manguel’s HISTORY OF READING (Viking, 1996).
From there it’s only a hop, skip and a jump to Clement Marot, Joachim du Bellay and Pierre de Ronsard, the acknowledged masters of French Renaissance poetry—and hence to some of the most beautiful and human poetry in the French language. Norman R. Shapiro, the prolific and ingenious translator, has done an anthology of these three poets, LYRICS OF THE FRENCH RENAISSANCE (Yale, 2002); Shapiro’s versions, which maintain the meters and rhyme schemes of the originals, succeed both as helpful cribs for those of us whose sixteenth- century French is imperfect and as reimaginings of the originals as poetry in English. It’s a joy to read.

Glenn Shea, from Glenn's Book Notes, at www.bookbarnniantic.com
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Labe, a woman after my own heart 7. August 2012
Von Marie Sharon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I became aware of Louise Labe in grad school where I did a paper on her work. I found her rollickingly lusty and forthright and loved that about her, especially as she was writing at a time (16th century Europe) when women were decidedly meant to be kept quiet. Her work is littered with classical allusions and deep references so that it is rich and requires rereading if one is to garner as much as one can from it. Fortunately, this is not a chore, but very enjoyable. It is not difficult to read. It is sometimes uproariously erotic and sometimes trenchantly serious and melancholy. Her eroticism is gloriously raw and immediate. Some critics and researchers tend to deny its pungency but, as ever, I am in the opposite court. Women have always known what is erotic, intriguing. It is only those who would buy into the man's world of female subservience who strive to deny her earthiness. One of her most interesting and enjoyable techniques is to use double entendre and this requires a bilingual edition (which this is) to fully appreciate the ambiguities of her work. She uses words that are perfectly acceptable but which also might have a more erotic connotation, a thinly veiled or a heavily emphasized "other" meaning. This provides a great deal of fun reading her poetry, figuring out where she is coming from or heading. She is also not backward in giving as good a women got back then and does not let her lovers off easy when they try to put her in her place. I heartily recommend Labe.

I also cannot strongly enough recommend the Other Voices series from the University of Chicago Press, of which this is one.
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