JACQUES RÉDA

 

Réda, Jacques. Return to Calm. Translated and with an introduction by Aaron Prevots. Preface by Jacques Réda. Austin: Host Publications, 2007. 190 p. ISBN-10: 0924047461. ISBN-13: 978-0924047466.

Return to Calm, appearing in its first full bilingual edition, immerses the reader in Réda's lyrical observations of the everyday. Its seven distinct sections offer reflections on youth, on travel in open country, on seasons, on Paris and on remembrance itself. They provide a rhythmic initiation into the outer world's beauty, through the eyes of a writer deeply attuned to the passing of time and space. Whether quietly murmured or marked by a certain warmth, Return to Calm uplifts and entrances through expansive portrayals of days present and past. Réda holds a mirror up to ordinary events in an effort to reveal their innate poetry, as if to ask, Does the world belong to us or do we instead belong to it?

Jacques Réda has been an active and much-admired presence in French literature since the 1960s. He is the author of more than thirty books, including works of poetry, autobiographical prose, short novels, and essays on topics ranging from jazz to writing to city life. He is also the recipient of numerous honors, including the Grand Prix de l'Académie Française (1993) and the Prix Louis Mandin (2005), both awarded in recognition of his lifetime's work.