Thursday, April 2, 2009

Friday's "Forgotten" Book: BOTTEGHE OSCURE READER, edited by George Garrett and Katherine Garrison Biddle (Wesleyan University Press, 1974)


The tenth issue (I can't find an image of the anthology):

Mason index to this anthology, which features representative selections arranged in chronological order, within a rough approximation of the magazine's format, down to separating the contents by the language they were written in:

Botteghe Oscure was a semiannual little magazine published and mostly edited by Marguerite Caetani from 1948-1960 from the street Botteghe Oscure ("dark shops" or "dark bodegas") in Rome. It was very well-funded by her, and while it favored poetry also ran some interesting prose, not least in other languages, as each issue by design featured new writing in English, French, and Italian in discrete segments, followed in alternating issues by either Spanish or German sections, and a scattering of translations from ancient languages and others. Apparently most though not all the materials had English translations, but sadly for me this volume doesn't feature translations of the foreign-language texts (with the exceptions of the Char poetry, where the translations were the new component in that issue), so the French and German are mostly only a little better than Greek to me, since I can guess at the cognates in a Roman alphabet (I can stagger through the Spanish and take stabs at the Italian). It published 25 issues, plus a number of supplements, and the most famous piece of work in English it introduced is almost certainly Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." Included, of course.

Botteghe Oscure Reader, ed. George Garrett with the assistance of Katherine Garrison Biddle (Wesleyan University Press, 1974, 475 + xix pp, paperback)

• Xiii • Introduction • George Garrett • in
• --American Texts
• 3 • The Clover • Conrad Aiken • pm
• 7 • when faces called flowers… • ee cummings • pm
• 8 • At Rest in the Blast • Marianne Moore • pm
• 9 • The Birth of Venus • William Carlos Williams •pm
• 12 • Castel Sant'Angelo • Peter Viereck • pm
• 13 • To the Noble Dead, My Instructors • Peter Viereck • pm
• 14 • A Half Dozen Small Pieces • Wallace Stevens • pm:
• 14 • 1: What We See Is What We Think
• 15 • 2: A Golden Woman in a Silver Mirror
• 16 • 3: The Old Lutheran Bells at Home
• 16 • 4: Questions Are Remarks
• 17 • 5: Studies of Images I
• 18 • 6: Studies of Images 2
• 19 • Hymn to the Winter Solstice • Clinch Calkins (Marion Merrill) • pm
• 21 • King David • David Ignatow • pm
• 22 • Bathsheba • David Ignatow • pm
• 22 • Mystique • David Ignatow • pm
• 23 • In Your Dreams • David Ignatow • pm
• 24 • A Girl in a Library • Randall Jarrell • pm
• 27 • A Conversation with the Devil • Randall Jarrell • pm
• 33 • On Earth as It is • William Weaver • ss
• 44 • Light at Equinox • Leonie Adams • pm
• 46 • Thistledown • James Merrill • pm
• 47 • Olive Grove • James Merrill • pm
• 48 • The Descent of Orpheus • William Jay Smith • pm
• 50 • The Figure Over the Town • William Goyen • ex (HALF A LOOK AT CAIN, unpublished?)
• 66 • The Walk in the Garden • Conrad Aiken • pm
• 72 • "The Shimmer of Evil" • Theodore Roethke • pm
• 73 • Love's Progess • Theodore Roethke • pm
• 74 • Elegy• Theodore Roethke • pm
• 75 • Who Killed Cock Robin? • Sylvia Beckman • ss
• 86 • The Day-Bed • Richard Eberhart • pm
• 90 • When the Light Falls • Stanley Kunitz • pm
• 91 • Among the Gods • Stanley Kunitz • pm
• 92 • Ostia Antica • Anthony Hecht • pm
• 95 • Love Calls Us to the Things of This World • Richard Wilbur • pm
• 96 • For the New Railway Station in Rome • Richard Wilbur • pm
• 97 • Sonnet • Richard Wilbur • pm
• 98 • Piazza di Spagna • Richard Wilbur • pm
• 99 • The Flower • Carolyn Kizer • pm
• 101 • Columns and Karyatids • Carolyn Kizer • pm
• 104 • The Moors • Babette Deutsch • pm
• 105 • For the Iowa Dead • Paul Engle • pm
• 112 • In Memoriam • William Arrowsmith • pm
• 114 • With My Crowbar Key • William Stafford • pm
• 115 • From the Grave of Daniel Boone • William Stafford • pm
• 116 • How the Rive Ninfa Runs Through the Ruined Town Beneath the Lime Quarry • Archibald MacLiesh • pm
• 118 • The Chinese Deer • Katherine Garrison Chapin • pm
• 119 • Short Thoughts for Long Nights • Robert Penn Warren • pm
• 121 • Nursery Rhyme: Why Are Your Eyes as Big as Saucers? • Robert Penn Warren • pm
• 123 • Equinox on Mediterranean Beach • Robert Penn Warner • pm
• 125 • The Avenger • James Wright • pm
• 127 • At the Executed Murderer's Grave • James Wright • pm
• 128 • Hurry Up Please It's Time • David Madden • ss
• --British Texts
• 137 • Ischia • W. H. Auden • pm
• 140 • Pride • Walter de la Mare • pm
• 141 • An Angel • Walter de la Mare • pm
• 142 • Outside and In • C. Day Lewis • pm
• 144 • Self • Kathleen Raine • pm
• 145 • The Song of Dido • Edith Sitwell • pm
• 146 • Father and Child • Roy Fuller • pm
• 147 • To Alun Lewis • Roy Fuller • pm
• 148 • The Minor Victorian Novelists • Roy Fuller • pm
• 149 • Milk-Wart and Bog Cotton • Hugh MacDiarmid • pm
• 149 • In the Hedgeback • Hugh MacDiarmid • pm
• 150 • The Watergaw • Hugh MacDiarmid • pm
• 151 • The Crash Landing • Louis MacNeice • playlet
• 159 • Traveling Northwards Home • Stephen Spender • pm
• 160 • A Sparrow's Flight • Kathleen Raine • pm
• 166 • Poem (Wakening with the window…) • Charles Tomlinson • pm
• 167 • The Light and Dark • Charles Tomlinson • pm
• 168 • Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night • Dylan Thomas • pm
• 169 • The Devil is a Protestant • Robert Graves • ss
• 179 • Apocryphal • Thom Gunn • pm
• 180 • Excursion • Thom Gunn • pm
• 182 • A Day in the Dark • Elizabeth Bowen • ss
• 192 • Persephone • Ruth Pitter • pm
• 198 • Teresa of Avila • Elizabeth Jennings • pm
• 200 • Kamikazes (A Selection of Their Letters) • Paul West • pm
• 201 • Vinedresser • Paul West • pm
• 201 • Dumb Couple on a Train • Paul West • pm
• 203 • Cave Drawings • Paul West • pm
• 205 • A Famous Man • Patrick Creagh • pm
• 206 • Silences • Patrick Creagh • pm
• 209 • Epithalanium • Patrick Creagh • pm
• --French Texts
• 211 • Guide par l'image • Paul Valery • pm
• 211 • O mes estranges personages • Paul Valery • pm
• 213 • Un home de letters • Albert Camus • ex
• 225 • Bonne chance • Pierre Reverdy • pm
• 227 • L'eperon malicieux, le double-cheval • Antonin Artaud • prose
• 228 • Lettre a la Voyante • Antonin Artaud • letter
• 233 • Lettres • Antonin Artaud • letters
• 247 • Clarte • Andre du Bouchet • pm
• 247 • Avant • Andre du Bouchet • pm
• 248 • On respire •Andre du Bouchet • pm
• 248 • Maree • Andre du Bouchet • pm
• 249 • Equerre •Andre du Bouchet • pm
• 250 • sur "Le pays d'origine" • Andre Malraux • ex
• 259 • Avec ce matin • Yves de Bayser • pm
• 261 • Vacances • Henri Michaux • prose
• 272 • Huit Poemes • Yves Bonnefoy • pm:
• 272 • Le jardin
• 272 • L'abre
• 273 • Le sol
• 273 • Veneranda
• 274 • Le visage
• 274 • Les guetters
• 275 • Le pont de fer
• 275 • Le ravin
• 276 • Les nuits de Malmont • Andre Dhotel • prose
• 288 • Exercises • Wallace Fowlie • pm
• --German Texts
• 291 • Lieder von einer Insel • Ingeborg Bachmann • pm
• 294 • Nebelland • Ingeborg Bachmann • pm
• 296 • Abschied von Irland • Heinrich Boll • prose
• 302 • Der Kuckuck • Gunter Grass • playlet
• 314 • Besonder die kleinen Propheten • Uwe Johnson • prose
• --Italian Texts
• 317 • Storia d'amore • Giorgio Bassani • nt
• 354 • Ucelli • Umberto Salva • pm
• 360 • Poesie • Eugenio Montale • pm
• 363 • Poseie dell'Orologio • Carlo Levi • pm
• 369 • Valentino • Natalia Ginzburg • nt
• 409 • Tre componimenti in versi • Mario Soldati • pm
• --Spanish Texts
• 413 • Nueva Tenochtitlan • Carlos Fuentes • ex (La region mas transparente del aire, 1958; translated in English as Where the Air is Clear, 1958)
• 421 • Pentecostes • Jorge Guillen • pm
• 423 • El rio • Octavio Paz • pm
• 427 • Ciudad mental • Carlos Barral • pm
• --Translations
• 432 • Traduzione dell'"Ode sopra un'urna greca" di Keats (Translation of "Ode upon a Grecian Urn" by Keats) • John Keats • pm (trans. Augusto Frassineti)
• 435 • Poems • Rene Char • pm (trans. Denis Devlin and Jackson Matthews
• 454 • Poemes • Rene Char • pm (original texts in French)
• 470 • Il cimitero dei Quaccheri a Nantucket • Robert Lowell • pm (trans. Rolando Anzilotti; "The Quaker Graveyard in Nantucket")

Substitute for the original blog entry:
Well, having cleverly erased my several paragraphs about this fine anthology, taken from the major little magazine which flourished from 1948-1960 and was published semi-annually and generally edited by the passionate and well-heeled Marguerite Caetani, I will attempt to reconstruct my entry tomorrow, when I get a chance.

One thing I made a point of mentioning--along with an impressive array of the best writers in English, Spanish, Italian, French and German, among other languages, but those five regularly, this is the magazine that first gave the world Dylan Thomas's "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night"--naturally, among the works included here. And Caetani paid her contributors well...at a time when Harper's Bazaar might pay a poet $75 a poem, and such less-endowed magazines as The New Yorker or The Atlantic Monthly some fraction of that, she was known to offer $300 out of pocket to the likes of Marianne Moore or William Stafford or Walter de la Mare or ee cummings or Wallace Stevens or such prose contributors as Elizabeth Bowen and Robert Graves.

A sampler reflective of the way the magazine was put together rather than a Best-of, including the originals but no translations (unlike the magazine) of then new (often in-progress) works by Albert Camus, Gunter Grass, Octavio Paz, Carlo Levi, and other non-Anglophone contributors, as well...making this the only Forgotten book I'll cite where I can't read a fair amount of it at all, or only the cognates in the French and German...while I can stumble through the Spanish and make a stab at the Italian...

For more Forgotten books, see Patti Nase Abbott's blog, where she sparks and organizes this weekly adventure (three cheers!).

5 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

You better check the summing up. I doubt I will get that spelled right. Oh, wait a minute-OSCURE not OSCVRE

K. A. Laity said...

LOL -- with a title like that it seems to be courting obscurity, but I suppose with such luminous lights within that was mere irony.

Todd Mason said...

It's the street in Rome it was putlished out of. Initially anonymously.

Misera e stupenda città said...

We're so glad to learn that some people somewhere are aware of how incredible and important "Botteghe Oscure" was indeed still is! We were extraordinarily lucky the other day and found five copies on sale at a flea market for two euros each

Todd Mason said...

Excellent...buona fortuna!