Philippe Jaccottet

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Erling Mandelmann : Philippe Jaccottet (1991)

Philippe Jaccottet (born June 30, 1925 in Moudon , Switzerland ) is a French poet , essayist and translator . He belongs to the small group of writers who were accepted into the prestigious Bibliothèque de la Pléiade des Gallimard Verlag while they were still alive .


Philippe Jaccottet was born in Moudon (western Switzerland, canton of Vaud ) in 1925 . He attended school and university in Lausanne . He stayed in Rome and Paris before moving to Grignan (southern France, Département Drôme ) in 1953 , where he still lives today with the painter Anne-Marie Haesler , whom he married the same year. In 1953 his first volume of poetry was published ( L'Effraie et autres poésies ). The first poem in it dates from 1946, L'Effraie , "Das Käuzchen", German in "Der Unwissende" (see below, bibliography).


Together with Yves Bonnefoy (1923–2016), his friend André du Bouchet (1924–2001), Francis Ponge (1899–1988) and others, Jaccottet belongs to a generation of French-speaking poets who died immediately after the Second World War and under the impact of this catastrophe began to write. Jaccottet's poetry is characterized by the flowing transition from lyrical, descriptive passages to poetological reflections on the conditions of writing itself; Poems stand next to diary-like or aphoristic comments. Often simple, everyday observations of the landscape in which he lives form a first and recurring layer of the notes ( answers on the wayside , an exemplary title). This descriptive, phenomenological lyric is mixed with thoughts of reassurance of literary traditions across cultural boundaries.


In this sense, Jaccottet's translational work cannot be separated from his own production; it spans the entire European history of Homer, whose Odyssey he broadcast, and includes German, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Czech. Friedrich Hölderlin , Rainer Maria Rilke , Giacomo Leopardi , Giuseppe Ungaretti , Luis de Góngora and Ossip Mandelstam are particularly important for his own work . From Robert Musil he transferred "The Man Without Qualities", "The Confusions of the Zöglings Törless" as well as various novels, essays, aphorisms, diaries and letters, from Thomas Mann "The Death in Venice", from Goethe some poems, from Holderlin "Hyperion "and also a selection of poems. Jaccottet edited the extensive Hölderlin edition of the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade and thus significantly shaped the French reception of Hölderlin. In 2008 Jaccottet finally published his translation of the "Duineser Elegien" by Rainer Maria Rilke. A selection of Jaccottets translations can be found in the volume "D'une lyre à cinq cordes". In 1966, he received the Johann Heinrich Voss Prize of the German Academy for Language and Poetry for his translation work and in 1987 the Grand Prix national de Traduction (1987).


Jaccottet also cultivates an intensive relationship with the visual arts , which also leaves clearly visible traces in his writing. His last work so far deals with the Italian painter Giorgio Morandi . This essay, "The Pilgrim and His Bowl", is not to be read as a scientific treatise, but as a dialogue with a kindred artist and as an understanding of art itself.

The underlying aesthetic was characterized as one of refusal, resistance and deletion : Jaccottet searches in a "nonetheless", Et, néanmoins , for possibilities to make reality (linguistically) habitable.


Philippe Jaccottets work has received numerous awards, including:


Works (selection

  • L'Effraie , 1953.
  • L'Entretien des muses , 1968.
  • Paysages avec figures absentes , 1970.
  • Rilke par lui-même , 1971.
  • Chant d'en-bas , 1977.
  • À la lumière d'hiver , 1977.
  • Pensées sous les nuages , 1983.
  • La Semaison, Carnets 1954-1967 , 1984.
  • Une Transaction Secrète , 1987.
  • Cahier de verdure , 1990.
  • Requiem , 1991 (new edition)
  • Après beaucoup d'années , 1994.
  • Observations et autres notes anciennes , 1998.
  • Et, néanmoins , 2001.
  • Le bol du pèlerin (Morandi) , 2001.
  • Truinas, le 21 avril 2001 , 2005.
  • Ce peu de bruits , 2008.
  • Le cours de la Broye , 2008.

Works, German

  • Fin d'hiver. Winter's end. German by Walter Helmut Fritz . Bläschke, Darmstadt 1965.
  • Poems . Transmission and afterword by Friedhelm Kemp . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1985, ISBN 3-608-95178-4 . (Selection of works in German original edition)
  • The walk under the trees. Translated from the French by Friedhelm Kemp. With a comment by Peter Handke . New edition Benziger, Zurich 1988, ISBN 3-545-34077-5 . (Original: La promenade sous les arbres)
  • Elements of a dream. German by Friedhelm Kemp. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-608-95620-4 . (Original: Eléments d'un songe)
  • The cormorants, Beauregard. German by Friedhelm Kemp. Edition Petrarca, Munich 1991. (Original: Les Cormorans, Beauregard)
  • Landscapes with absent figures . German by Friedhelm Kemp. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1992, ISBN 3-608-95262-4 . (Original: Paysages avec figures absentes)
  • Flying seeds. Records 1954–1979. From the French by Sander Ort. Hanser, Munich / Vienna 1995, ISBN 3-446-17316-1 . (Original: La semaison)
  • After so many years. German by Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz . Hanser, Munich / Vienna 1998, ISBN 3-446-19484-3 . (Original: Après beaucoup d'années)
  • Answers by the wayside. German by Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz. Hanser, Munich / Vienna 2001, ISBN 3-446-19995-0 . (Original: Cahier de verdure)
  • The ignorant. Poems and prose 1946–1998. German by Friedhelm Kemp, Sander Ort, Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz. Hanser, Munich / Vienna 2003, ISBN 3-446-20274-9 . (Selection of works in German original edition)
  • Truinas, April 21, 2001. German by Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz. With an afterword “Through a quince tree garden. Memory of André du Bouchet ”by Wolfgang Matz. Lyrik Kabinett , Munich 2005, ISBN 3-9807150-7-8 . (Original: Truinas, le 21 avril 2001)
  • The pilgrim and his bowl. Giorgio Morandi. German by Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz. Hanser, Munich / Vienna 2005, ISBN 3-446-20579-9 . (Original: Le bol du pèlerin (Morandi))
  • The poetry of French-speaking Switzerland. A bilingual anthology. Poems by: C.-F. Ramuz, B. Cendrars, P.-L. Matthey, G. Roud, E.-H. Crisinel, M. Chappaz, J. Cuttat, A. Perrier, Ph. Jaccottet, N. Bouvier, P. Chappuis, J. Chessex, P.-A. Tâche, J. Berger, P. Voélin, F. Wandelère, J.-F. Tappy. Selected and introduced by Philippe Jaccottet; German by Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz. Nagel & Kimche, Munich / Zurich 2008, ISBN 978-3-312-00407-2 . (bilingual original edition)
  • Notes from the depths. German by Friedhelm Kemp, Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-446-23287-7 . (Original: Israël, cahier bleu (2004), Notes du ravin (2001), À partir du mot Russie (2002))
  • Le Combat inégal. (French, Italian, German). With translations by Fabio Pusterla , Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz. La Dogana, Geneva 2010.
  • Sunspots, shadow spots. Saved records 1952-2005. German by Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz. Hanser, Munich / Vienna 2015, ISBN 978-3-446-24769-7 . (Original: Taches de soleil, ou d'ombre (2013))
  • Thoughts under the clouds. Poems. Translation by Elisabeth Edl, Wolfgang Matz. Göttingen: Wallstein, 2018
  • The few noises. Late prose and poetry. German by Elisabeth Edl and Wolfgang Matz. Hanser, Munich 2020 (originals: Et, néanmoins, 2001; Nuages, 2002; Ce peu de bruits, 2008; Couleur de Terre, 2009).

Works, english

  • Words in the air / Derek Mahon. A selection of poems by Philippe Jaccottet. Gallery Press, Oldcastle 1998, ISBN 1-85235-239-6 , 1-85235-238-8. (English, French)


  • D'une lyre à cinq cordes. Traductions de Philippe Jaccottet 1946–1995 . Gallimard, Paris 1997, ISBN 2-07-074718-2 .
  • Not everything has been said yet. in German and in French. Transferred from Kurt Meyer. (French text as an enclosure). Keicher, Warmbronn 2011, ISBN 978-3-943148-02-2 .


Web links

Commons : Philippe Jaccottet  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Lisbeth Koutchoumoff: Philippe Jaccottet entre dans la Pléiade . February 14, 2014, ISSN  1423-3967 ( [accessed April 5, 2019]).