The Modernist Bestiary
Translating Animals and the Arts through Guillaume Apollinaire, Raoul Dufy and Graham Sutherland
Edited by Sarah Kay and Timothy Mathews
The Modernist Bestiary centres on Le Bestiaire ou Cortège d’Orphée (1911), a multimedia collaborative work by French-Polish poet Guillaume Apollinaire and French artist Raoul Dufy, and its homonym, The Bestiary or Procession of Orpheus (1979), by British artist Graham Sutherland. Rather than reconstructing the lineage of these two compositions, the book uncovers the aesthetic and intellectual processes involved that operate in different times, places and media. The Apollinaire and Dufy Bestiary is an open-ended collaboration, a feature that Sutherland develops in his re-visiting, and this book shows how these neglected works are caught up in many-faceted networks of traditions and genres. These include Orphic poetry from the past, contemporary musical settings, and bestiary writing from its origins to the present. The nature of productive dialogue between thought and art, and the refracted light they throw on each other are explored in each of the pieces in the book, and the aesthetic experience emerges as generative rather than reductive or complacent.
The contributors’ encounters with these works take the form of poetry and essays, all moving freely between different disciplines and practices, humanistic and posthumanist critical dimensions, as well as different animals and art forms. They draw on disciplines ranging from music, art history, translation, Classical poetry and French poetry, and are nurtured by approaches including phenomenology, cultural studies, sound studies, and critical animal studies. Collectively the book shows that the aesthetic encounter, by nature affective, is by nature also interdisciplinary and motivating, and that it spurs the critical in addressing the complex issues of 'humananimality'.
Sarah Kay teaches French, Comparative Literature and Medieval Studies at New York University. A former Fellow of the British Academy, she has written widely on medieval texts across genres and languages, particularly on poetry and its connections with philosophy and literary theory. Her most recent books are Animal Skins and the Reading Self in Medieval Latin and French Bestiaries and Philology’s Vomit: An Essay on the Immortality and Corporeality of Texts (both 2017). Her current work is on medieval song, from Aristotle to opera.
Timothy Mathews is Emeritus Professor of French and Comparative Criticism, UCL. In his writing and translating he explores what relating to art can tell us about relating to people. His interests include relations of literary and visual art, translation and creative critical writing. He has written on many modern artists and writers, notably Apollinaire. His most recent monograph is Alberto Giacometti: the Art of Relation (2013). He is currently completing a book of creative critical 'chronicles', and preparing translations of Guillaume Apollinaire and Roland Barthes. He is a member of the Academy of Europe and Officier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.
Headpiece: Oblique and prolonged
1. Graham Sutherland The Bestiary or Procession of Orpheus: An introduction
2. The Voice of Light: Nature and revelation
in The Bestiary, or Procession of Orpheus
4.Apollinaire’s Octosyllabic Quatrain, Translation and Zoopoetics
5. Animals on Parade: Collecting sounds for l’histoire naturelle of modern music
6. Beasts of Flesh and Steel: The
post-industrial bestiaries of Apollinaire, Dufy and Sutherland
7. How is Orpheus honoured? Procession,
association and loss
Notes Towards A Hybrid Bestiary: Out of Apollinaire, Sutherland and others
Size: 234 × 156 mm
49 colour illustrations
Copyright: © 2020
Publication: June 08, 2020
Series: Comparative Literature and Culture