Scattered translations in the 1970s formed a doomed (so far) project to retain some familiarity with French from a near-fluency in college overlaid by a renewed enthusiasm caught from the Paris-facing New York School poets (Ashbery, Padgett, etc.). With much of the most attractive avant-garde territory already staked out (Padgett: Cendrars, Apollinaire, Reverdy, and Larbaud's Barnabooth), I cut my teeth on a few Desnos poems and lit on some fairly obscure Larbaud essays in the collection of the San Francisco Public Library. When Michael Waltuch proposed a hand-crafted Whale Cloth Press edition of 'The Hamlet of the Bees' printed face-en-face, I had to get over an amateur's reluctance to expose the underpinnings of the translation process and hold all my compromises and approximations up to public view. I must have come to realize that that was, in fact, at least part of the point.
Alan Bernheimer on The Hamlet of the Bees
January 25, 2003
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