The Franz Kafka Prize

2007 - Yves Bonnefoy

Born: 24 June 1923, Tours, France

Author's quote: "Sometimes it's impossible to say certain things ... Writing is something needed by man to share experience."

Field: Poetry

Prize share: 1/1

Books Written By Yves Bonnefoy

Yves Bonnefoy; born 24 June 1923 is a French poet and essayist. Bonnefoy was born in Tours, Indre-et-Loire, the son of a railroad worker and a teacher. His works have been of great importance in post-war French literature, at the same time poetic and theoretical, examining the meaning of the spoken and written word. He has also published a number of translations, most notably Shakespeare as well as several works on art and art history, including Miró and Giacometti.

He studied mathematics, the history of science, and philosophy at the University of Poitiers and the Sorbonne. Later he worked for three years at the National Center for Scientific Research before devoting himself completely to writing and lecturing.

Bonnefoy's first book of poems, On the Motion and Immobility of Douve, was published in 1953 and won him immediate recognition as a new, major voice. Three other books appeared at irregular intervals and were collected in one volume under the title of Poèmes. In 1987 he published In the Shadow's Light, followed by Début et fin de la neige in 1991. Today he is acknowledged as the most outstanding and influential poet in France today.

Since 1954 Bonnefoy has also produced many works of literary and art criticism—Rimbaud, Un rêve fait à Mantoue, Rome 1630, Entretiens sur la poésie (Dialogues on Poetry). His translations of Shakespeare's plays are considered the best to date, and two years ago he published his translation of some fifty poems by Yeats.


In the Shadow's Light - Yves Bonnefoy

By Marshall Lindsay

If you like modern poetry you will enjoy this selection of poetry. Yves Bonnefoy is a sensitive and profound poet. He starts from a simple activity, like taking a walk in the woods, describing elements along the path and transcends his brief exposé with a meditative, transcendental thought. Like a Gothic cathedral that starts with the rough stone and becomes more and more ethereal as it goes up and reaches the light trough the colored glass or vitreaux. Even the light is transformed as it is reflected.

In the Shadow's Light - Yves Bonnefoy

By A Customer

Great poetry from one of the greatest living poets in French literature today. The book has a lot of wear, but it attested to the popularity of this poet.