Shapiro Translates Gautier’s Selected Lyrics

Book translation by Norman Shapiro.

Norman Shapiro, professor of romance languages and literatures, is the translator of Théophile Gautier’s Selected Lyrics. The book was published in December by Yale University Press.

Théophile Gautier [1811–1872] was a prominent French poet, novelist, critic, and journalist. He is famous for his virtuosity, his inventive textures, and his motto “Art for art’s sake.”  His work is often considered a crucial hinge between High Romanticism—idealistic, sentimental, grandiloquent—and the beginnings of “Parnasse,” with its emotional detachment, plasticity, and irresistible surfaces.

According to the book’s preview: “Norman Shapiro’s translations have been widely praised for their formal integrity, sonic acuity, tonal sensitivities, and overall poetic qualities, and he employs all these gifts in this collection.  Mining one of the crucial treasures of the French tradition, Shapiro makes a major contribution to world letters. “