Ciaran Carson has a distinguished history of translation from the Italian (The Inferno of Dante Alighieri, 2002), the Irish (The Midnight Court, 2005; and The Tain, 2007) as well as from the French (The Alexandrine Plan, 1998). He states in his "Author's Note" that "these versons are not conventional translations. . . . There are instances where I have added to or taken away from the original. I have sometimes twisted Rimbaud's words. And Rimbaud's words, of course, twisted mine . . ." Carson's idea of the translator's work is like the French poet's own visionary idea of how poetry conveys the hypnotic violence of the real: "The poet makes himself a seer through a long, prodigious and rational disordering of the senses." Carson continues: "However we gloss the title Illuminations, the poems flit within the inward eye like a brightly-coloured magic lantern slides, pictures from a marvellous book, visions of another world, scenes from an avant-garde film. Rimbaud was avant-garde before the Avant-garde; a surrealist before Surrealism; and, environmentalist avant la lettre, his critique of industrial society in some of these poems is still relevant today. In all senses he was indeed a seer." Only a poet of Carson's skills could translate the poetry of the poete maudit "in the light of" the original.
Used availability for Ciaran Carson's In the Light of
May 2013 : USA Paperback