Benjamin Fondane was a poet, literary critic, and philosopher who produced most of his literary works in Paris in the 1930s. He became a disciple of his close friend, the Russian philosopher of existential thought, Lev Shestov. Fondane's fascination with the tragic in his verse can be traced to the belief he shared with Shestov that one's spirit is elevated through personal suffering. Fondane also believed in the magic of poetic creativity and its incredible force as it goes beyond logic and beyond the self, and he declined the importance of aesthetics in favor of the tragic verse. Unlike the Surrealists whom he criticized, Fondane's poetics was t in search for answers: He realized that the joy of existence consists in our continual inner search rather than a presumptuous explanation of the meaning of life.
The Author and Translator: A scholar and a painter, Arta Lucescu Boutcher is Professor of French at Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey, and a teacher at Bergen County Academy in New Jersey. Born in Romania, she has studied in Paris at the Sorbonne University and at the College de France under the supervision of the world-renowned French poet Yves Bonnefoy. Arta Lucescu Boutcher obtained her Ph.D. in French literature from the Graduate School of the City University of New York. Her interview with Emil Cioran was published in Europe's 1998 special issue on Benjamin Fondane.
Arta Lucescu Boutcher
Peter Lang Publishing Inc
Date of Publication
Currents in Comparative Romance Languages & Literatures