A revolutionary anthology in 1960s Portugal

Natalia antologia 1965

The new edition (745:23.c.201.7)

The UL recently acquired a new edition of the Antologia de poesia portuguesa erótica e satírica, a book that represents an important part of Portuguese literary and political history. First published in December 1965, the book’s release earned its editor, the poet and writer Natália Correia, a 3-year suspended prison sentence.

To 21st century eyes, this is a scholarly and comprehensive work of anthology. It compiles works by most of the major figures in Portuguese poetry dating back to the medieval troubadours, including Camões, Bocage, Almeida Garrett, Fernando Pessoa and António Botto. Also included are those then-contemporary poets – such as Maria Teresa Horta, Mário Cesariny, Herberto Helder, Luiz Pacheco, Jorge de Sena and Natália Correia herself – who have since come to be considered equally canonical. Therefore, it is interesting to reflect on the “seismic shock” (as Correia described it) that the book caused on its initial publication. Continue reading

Ernesto Cardenal: a cultural icon of the Nicaraguan revolution

Ernesto Cardenal, Nicaraguan poet, priest and revolutionary, died on the 1st of March aged 95. He wrote numerous works of poetry, as well as essays and memoirs. His poetry embraced a great variety of topics, including but not limited to history, social justice, politics, love, mysticism and astronomy. Continue reading

“Sombre est noir” by Amy Bakaloff and Óscar Domínguez (1945): war poetry, from anthologies to illustrated collections

Bakaloff Amy, Sombre est noir, orné d’une gravure à l’eau-forte et de deux dessins de Domínguez. Paris, 1945. Liberation.b.356

One of the last books acquired through the Liberation collection is Amy Bakaloff’s Sombre est noir (Liberation.b.356), a collection of French poetry written during the Second World War and dedicated to Paul Éluard and Georges Hugnet, a writer and publisher engaged in the Résistance. It includes an engraving signed by Óscar Domínguez and two drawings. It is a rare work, one of 232 copies, some numbered on Annam paper, some on blue vellum, and some on vélin des Marais. Continue reading

Remo Giatti’s prints in the Cambridge Diane française, “Musée de Poche” collection

Giatti’s original print for Le livre et sa matière (2018)

In an earlier blog post, I talked about the artist books donation of the Diane française publisher “Musée de Poche” collection to Cambridge University Library. One of the works I discovered in this series is that of Remo Giatti, an artist form Northern Italy who uses a variety of techniques (engraving, lithography, drawing and collage…), and whose prints often include elements in “relief”. His work featured on the cover of the catalogue (F201.a.4.1), accompanied in the numbered Cambridge copy by an original print. Giatti also contributed to four “Musée de Poche” books (three of them are double volumes containing up to eight prints).

Le plus beau poème du monde est un poème d’amour (2014) by the Italian poet Arturo Schwarz, translated into French by Raphael Monticelli and inspired by Lucretius is a tribute to the beloved woman and her body through the elements. In this context, Giatti’s first and last prints evoke the stains of biological elements enlarged through a microscope, and the cracks forming on an arid soil in shades of grey. In the central double print, a grey shape with lines, strokes and cracks, pops up dramatically towards the viewer. It is set on top of another print which acts as a colourful brown and green background for the other one, reusing patterns of bubbles, stains and lines, and creating a strange effect of alignment and perspective from the top to the bottom print. Continue reading

Contemporary artists’ books in Cambridge UL: the Diane française “Musée de Poche” donation

Following an event and book display organised by Jean Khalfa at Trinity College Wren Library on 15 October 2018, Cambridge University Library recently received a donation of about 40 artists’ books published in Nice by La Diane française between 2004 and 2018.

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