Very Good. 0571170528. Clean and tightly bound paperback, signed and dated by the author on the title page, otherwise no inscriptions, pages age-toned, spine uncreased, appears little used. [viii] + 55 pages.
Dust Jacket Design By Pentagram. Fine in Fine Dust Jacket in Fine jacket. Signed by Author(s) 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. First printing of the Faber hardcover edition. Third book of poetry. viii, 56pp. Blue cloth, cream ink spine lettering. Dust jacket price 12.99GBP. Signed by Hofmann to half-title page. Book and dust jacket appear in fine, unread condition [slight hints of shelf rubbing to dust jacket edges]. Michael Hofmann, poet, critic and translator [from German], has published six books of poetry, a book of critical essays, and has translated more than thirty books, mainly novels, including works by Ernst Junger, Franz Kafka, Wolfgang Koeppen, Joseph Roth, Wim Wenders and his father Gert Hofmann. For his poetry he has won a Cholmondeley Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and an English Arts Council grant; for his translations the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the P.E.N. /Book of the Month Club Translation Prize, and the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize. He received his BA (1979) and MA (1984) from Cambridge University. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan. Professor Hofmann teaches poetry workshops and seminars on European poetry and translation at the University of Florida. 'Michael Hofmann is one of the best poets writing in English. '-Helen Dunmore. 'A high resolution vision of modern reality rendered in the monochrome of consciousness. A necessary voice."-Joseph Brodsky. 'He is one of the best we have.....[it] could justifiably be said [he is] the outstanding British poet under thirty. '-Blake Morrison. "In Hofmann's third collection, 'Corona, Corona ', a refreshing exploration of new poetic terrain develops, with many of the poems focusing on foreign travel, titles including 'Sunday in Puebla', 'Las Casas' and 'Guanajuato Two Times', among others. This is a topic which Hofmann's background and peripatetic life-not to mention his characteristically echt poetic style-more than qualify him to write illuminatingly and insightfully on, as in the surreal yet tangible scenes of 'Postcard from Cuernavaca': 'The toilet paper dangles inquiringly from the window cross. A light bulb's skull tumbles forlornly into the room. Outside there is a chained monkey who bites. He lives, as I do, on Coke and bananas, which he doesn't trouble to peel. ' While these travel poems may dominate much of the collection's second half, however, the first section of the book is mainly devoted to character sketches of cultural figures who, both aptly and unsurprisingly, bear the sort of freighted patrimonies that parallel Hofmann's own. Among them are the Roman general and politician Crassus, 'whose head was severed a day later than his son's', the Victorian 'fairy-painter, father-slayer, poor, bad, mad' Richard Dadd, and the famous Motown singer Marvin Gaye, who was killed by his Reverend father, in what Hofmann describes as 'a dog collar shot a purple dressing-gown, twice. ' As illuminating and well-executed as they may be, however, such pieces do tend towards feeling a little laboured and-even for Hofmann-too thoroughly dejected at times. Fortunately, what 'Corona, Corona' otherwise succeeds in demonstrating is a sharpening of Hofmann's imaginative stylistic techniques, as in his brilliant use of syllepsis (the drawing together of disparate objects and concepts into the same list) appearing in 'Freebird' ('an electric grille and a siege mentality') and 'Guanajuato Two Times' ('wearing a pleasant frown and predistressed denims'), as well as his deft handling of extended metaphors, as in that which underpins 'From A to B and Back Again' ('there you were, my brave love, / [....] eager to show me / your scars, a couple of tidy crosses / like grappling hooks, one in the metropolis, / the other some distance away, in the unconcerned suburbs')."-Ben Wilkinson, Contemporary Writers.
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