Bestiary:

or the Parade of Orpheus

Softcover sale price: $8.95 (Regularly $14.95)

Thirty short poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, with woodcuts by Raoul Dufy, of Dufy, that celebrate mammals, birds, fish, insects, and the mythical poet and prophet Orpheus—filled with surprising images, wit, formal mastery, and wry irony.

First published in 1911, and embellished with the graphically sophisticated woodcuts, this collection presents a voice that ranges from the colloquial to the impassioned, a brisk combination of lyric imagery and bawdy humor.

Apollinaire was an early and influential champion of Cubism, the friend of Braque, Picasso, Dufy, and Rousseau, and a seminal figure in the revolutionary art style known as “Surrealism,” a term that he coined. This a rare treat for lovers of French literature, art, and culture.

Guillaume Apollinaire was born Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki in Rome to a Polish family. He adopted the name by which he is now known in his late teens, when he moved to Paris and joined the artistic communities then thriving in Montmartre and Montparnasse. There, he befriended, and was later painted by, artists including Jean Metzinger, Amedeo Modigliani, and Pablo Picasso. In addition to poetry, Apollinaire worked as a journalist and art critic for Le Matin, Intransigeant, and Paris Journal. As an art critic, he often expressed controversial opinions that went beyond his support of Cubism and Surrealism, including a half-serious plea for the Louvre to be burnt down.

Raoul Dufy was perhaps the most stylish of the Fauvists, a group of French artists led by Matisse and Derain. Dufy was born in Normandy and worked at a coffee-importing company in his teens to put himself through evening classes at the municipal art school. He later won a scholarship to the Paris Ecole des Beaux-Arts, where he developed his bright, dynamic, refreshingly optimistic style. He soon developed a reputation as a successful and disciplined commercial artists, and his art appeared everywhere from public murals and tapestries to ceramic designs and book illustrations.

Pepe Karmel is a graduate of Harvard College and New York University. An accomplished translator of French poetry, he was the first to translate Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano. In addition to his translations, he has published extensively on art history with an emphasis on Cubism and currently teaches this subject at New York University.