Saturday, 30 January 2010

One evening, a policeman came and told him…
"So begins Charles Reznikoff’s cycle of poems, Holocaust. It could be the beginning of Kafka’s Metamorphosis (“One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking…”). and what follows in Reznikoff is certainly a metamorphosis of sorts: the transformation of certain human beings into something lower than monstrous insects to whom all trace and privilege of humanity is denied. But Kafka’s world was metaphor, it was imagined. Reznikoff’s was a historical record. In fact it was quite precisely a historical record..." writes George Szirtes in his introduction to Five Leaves' edition of Reznikoff's Holocaust now in press. We'll have copies back in a couple of weeks.

The late Charles Reznikoff is not hugely known in this country, but Black Sparrow in the States kept his work in print. This book comprises verbatim witness records from the Nuremberg and Eichmanm trials turned into something like verse form. A book that is hard to read, we confess, but an important poetry documentary. We are proud to publish it here.

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