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Edward Hopper

Poems: A Bilingual Edition
Ernest Farrés, Translated from the Catalan by Lawrence Venuti
On the spot where I write all this hodgepodge of verses
  stands Edward Hopper, in fact, who engenders them
  and who, neatly transcending space-time, sends me
  the signals.
  —from "Self-Portrait, 1925-1930"   "The second Robert Fagles Translation Prize is awarded . . . to Lawrence Venuti's translation of the contemporary Catalan poet Ernest Farrés's Edward Hopper. This work, a sequence of fifty poems, each based on a painting by the American realist artist, is not arranged chronologically according to the dates when the paintings were completed; instead the poems sketch a narrative which follows a poetic subject in transit from small-town origins to big-city life, from the search for a job to a career in art, from bachelorhood to love and companionship, from youth to age . . . The poems do not merely rehearse the facts of the painter's life or his cantankerous opinions. The ventriloquism slips, as Mr. Venuti says, and the interrogative force of the writing constantly reminds us of the strange amalgamation of the Catalan poet and the American icon into a single being."—Richard Howard, judge, the National Poetry Series' Robert Fagles Translation Prize

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An arresting sequence of poems based on the life and paintings of Edward Hopper, in an award-winning translation from the Catalan

About the Author

Ernest  Farres
Credit: Georgina Miret
Ernest Farrés, an editor at the Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia, is the author of three poetry collections. Edward Hopper won the Englantina d’Or of the Jocs Florals, a major Catalan poetry prize.
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Lawrence Venuti is a translation theorist as well as a translator. He is the translator of Edward Hopper by Ernest Farrés and author of The Translator’s Invisibility: A History of Translation.
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  • Edward Hopper is a complex and striking work of narrative-lyrical poetry, skirting on the epic, that is also one of the most interesting books of poetry to be recently published in English. . . . Like the works of great art they illuminate, these poems reveal a moment (of life, of time, of history) in its fullest dimension. In this book’s ambitious transcendence of the individual, Farrés shines through Hopper as a poet to pay attention to.”—Three Percent
  • “The overriding sensation on gains of Farrés from reading Edward Hopper is that of a writer who honors poetry that speaks of natural mysteries and great forces, as well as of commonplace, domestic intimacies; poetry that conveys thought in a lucid manner.  Everything is at least worthy of observation, if not celebration.  The best of these works uncover the delicate interstices between viewer and subject, artist, and writer; they show us “the possibility of other worlds / or an extraordinary order of things’ (‘Railroad Train, 1908’).”—Eugene Weekly
  • “‘Hopper and I form one single person,’ says the Catalan poet Ernest Farrés of his poems on Edward Hopper’s paintings. Joining this company of two, Lawrence Venuti carries Hopper home by making him stranger. The idiom Venuti has invented is at once American and otherworldly, doubled, like the poems he translates, like the paintings Farrés translated into poems. Not just a brilliant sequence of poems, Edward Hopper is a three-part invention.”—James Longenbach
  • “The great American painter of solitude comes back to us brilliantly illuminated and transformed by the contemporary Catalan poet Ernest Farrés, who is cannily—cunningly!—translated by Lawrence Venuti into a sparkling English vernacular. This is a book of unexpected splendors.”—Edward Hirsch


This book is made possible, in part, through the Robert Fagles Translation Prize, awarded by the National Poetry Series for a book of poetry in translation by a living poet, and by the generosity of Graywolf Press donors like you.
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