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Issue Details: First known date: 2019... 2019 Aussi / Or: Un Coup de Dés and Mistranslation in the Antipodes
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'‘Shipwrecked on the shoals of contingency’, Australian poetry is haunted by Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem Un Coup de Dés. Its publication in Cosmopolis in Paris in 1897 struck a nerve or, rather, a vessel within Australian poetry bloodlines, starting with Christopher Brennan. Un Coup de dés was the score that inspired him to compose ‘Musicopoematographoscope’, also in 1897, a large handwritten mimique manuscript, or pastiche, that transposed the more extreme aesthetics of an avant-garde French Symbolism into the Australian poetic psyche. Now well into the twenty-first century, Un Coup de dés is still a blueprint for experimentation in Australian poetry, spawning a number of versions, two of which are homophonic mistranslations – ‘A Fluke’ by Chris Edwards and ‘Desmond’s Coupé’ by John Tranter – both published in 2006, and both revelling / rebelling in the abject, and in “errors and wrecks’. This essay/assay provides a comparative reading of these homophonic bedfellows, traces their relation(ship)s to their antecedents, to various theories of translation and punning, and begins an enquiry into the significant influence of Mallarmé’s great ‘vessel’ on Australian poetry and poetics.' (Introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Cordite Poetry Review Monster no. 91 May 2019 16551150 2019 periodical issue

    'I’m writing this after news that W S Merwin has died. His Selected Poems still sits on my bedside table, never far away in case of a spare moment. The poem ‘Leviathan’, was something of an inspiration for this issue, a rolling, musical masterpiece that echoes, for me at least, Tennyson’s ‘The Kraken’. It was first published in Merwin’s Green with Beasts in 1956, and speaks with memorable power and control, like Darth Vader.' (Nathan Curnow : Editorial introduction)

Last amended 16 May 2019 15:31:57 Aussi / Or: Un Coup de Dés and Mistranslation in the Antipodessmall AustLit logo Cordite Poetry Review
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