Poetry in a time of upheaval
Equal parts dramatic and symphonic, the poetry of Jean-Paul de Dadelsen provides acute insight into the European consciousness of the first half of the twentieth century. With energetic innovation and imaginative depth, Dadelsen extols the somber beauty of his Alsatian homeland, grapples with the elusiveness of meaning, and decries religion’s futile attempts to speak to a continent ravaged by fascism and war. His is an acerbic and humane assessment of French and European identity that draws on the past and imagines the future, while remaining firmly rooted in the present.
In these poems, Dadelsen modulates himself in dramatic monologue, exploring a mosaic of voices to form a composite portrait of the postwar landscape. Inhabiting such characters as King Solomon, Johann Sebastian Bach, provincial French women, and a Hungarian resistant in the 1956 uprising, the poems in this new bilingual collection offer an inside look at the shifting cultural topography of midcentury Europe, forged in the war that reshaped our understanding of the human condition.