Sandra Bermann and Princeton students study the poetry and life of René Char

June 8, 2023

In the spring semester, Sandra Bermann, Cotsen Professor in the Humanities, Professor of Comparative Literature, and Director of the Program in Values and Public Life, led the course "Poetry and War: Translating the Untranslatable" which focused on poet and French Resistance leader, René Char.  Looking through a historical lens, students explored Char's work and how his poetry lives on through ongoing translations around the world. In connection with the course, Professor Bermann and her students studied the Char Papers archived in Special Collections at the Princeton University Library; traveled to France to continue their studies and visit sites of the Resistance with Char's widow and editor, Marie-Claude Char; and studied various translations of his texts.  The semester culminated with a public reading of “Feuillets d’Hypnos” (“Leaves of Hypnos”), Char’s poetic “notebook” from the Resistance, at which students shared their individual translations of René Char's poetry.

Read the story on Princeton University's news page here.