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The Adaptations (1975-2020)


The Adaptations (1975-2020) follows the much heralded The Poems (1961-2020) and continues The Gallery Press’s ‘Mahon project’ of putting in print and on the record all of the work that Derek Mahon wished to preserve, in this instance his versions of poems from other languages and cultures. An amplification of Echo’s Grove (2013), whose Foreword appears here as an Afterword, it includes more recently published translations (Aristophanes, Goethe, Victor Hugo, Paul Verlaine and Bertolt Brecht) as well as previously unpublished work (Goethe, Jules Laforgue, Guillaume Apollinaire and ‘Gopal Singh’). It demonstrates the broad church of Derek Mahon’s interests and thinking and a master poet’s engagement over almost half a century with literatures of the world.

‘The Adaptations is part of Gallery’s ongoing commitment to Derek Mahon. The title’s temporal span indicates the chronological organisation adopted, offering us a complete picture of Mahon’s engagement with poetry in other languages. This ranges from the choruses of Sophocles and Aristophanes, through the Latin of Lucretius, Horace and Ovid, among others. The versions of poems from Petrach, Brecht and Pasternak testify to Mahon’s profound engagement with European literature, while it also traces his incursions into Chinese and Indian traditions. But adaptations from the French dominate. The volume may be read as proof of Mahon’s fascination with world poetry.’ — Clíona Ní Ríordáin, Ticket, The Irish Times

Publication date: 31 May 2022
Details: 224pp
ISBN PBK: 978 1 91133 842 0
ISBN HBK: 978 1 91133 843 7

Cover: ‘T5.16’ by Charles Tyrrell (2016) courtesy of the artist
Author photograph by John Minihan

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