Poet and French Resistance leader René Char is the focus of a course that builds on his archives here

June 13, 2023
René Char course_Sp23
Photo by Rebecca Graves-Bayazitoglu

This spring, students in the course “Poetry and War: Translating the Untranslatable” explored Char’s poetry in its historical context and its ongoing “afterlife” in translations around the globe. They explored the Char Papers, held in Princeton University Library’s (PUL) Special Collections. On a spring break trip to France, they met Char’s widow and editor, Marie-Claude Char, who guided them on a literary and historical journey exploring her husband as poet and Resistance leader. Back on campus, their work culminated in a dramatic public reading of the “notebook” in multiple languages, using the students’ own individual translations.

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