Sunday, September 29, 2013

Do Marionettes Die? - Maria Luise Weissmann

“We love our slender dolls so much
- Their white faces are lonely”

Maria Luise Weissmann (1899-1929) translated the work of Paul Verlaine and Blaise Cendrars, and also wrote a handful of books of her own poetry, and one novel. Her work is little-known even in her native Germany and has not been widely translated.

Mark Valentine has written the first known translation of her brief but strange and sensuous poem, “Do Marionettes Die?”, which in just twelve lines evokes the precious life of dolls and puppets and our curious affinity with them. Jo Valentine has created striking images that complement the uncanny world of the poem. Both the original German and new English texts are provided in a hand-made “double book” in soft covers, together with a brief note on the poet and several haunting portraits of her. Each cover has a unique variation on the design, though all feature dolls and puppets.

This is the third publication from the Valentine & Valentine imprint, and is in a limited, numbered edition of 25 copies only. Note: the translation appeared earlier in Mark Valentine’s Star Kites, Poems & Versions (Tartarus Press, 2013).

Update: all copies have been taken. We hope to announce another title in about a month.

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