Press Release: If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho
Translated and introduced by Anne Carson
SLipcase and frontispiece images by Jenny Holzer
‘Her verse has been elevated to new heights in a gorgeous translation by the poet Anne Carson’
Sappho’s complete surviving oeuvre is translated faithfully for the first time, by poet and renowned scholar Anne Carson, in this exquisite new Folio Society collector’s edition.
This magnificent edition respects Carson’s vision to keep Sappho herself clearly at its heart. Unillustrated, it has been painstakingly typeset and letterpress printed throughout, the better to enjoy full immersion in the ancient verses. Each page of the text has been individually laid out so the spacing and breaks precisely replicate the Ancient Greek of the surviving papyrus fragments from which the words were transcribed facing Carson’s English translation.
With just one complete poem surviving of the nine volumes Sappho is believed to have written, the presentation of her work requires careful consideration. Eschewing the scholarly or poeticising additions of previous translations, Carson instead respects the missing words, lines and stanzas, leaving blank spaces to represent them. The result is stark yet compelling and these incomplete poetry jigsaws are visually arresting as well as being technically accurate. It is in the sparsest poems, with their smattering of surviving words, that the beauty and depth of Sappho’s work may be most appreciated. Carson doesn’t interrupt Sappho; her meticulous introduction and notes add context and explanation, but the poetry remains unobscured and unadorned.
The frontispiece and binding images show Sappho’s lines in Jenny Holzer’s rock-carved artworks: her words living on in the natural world. Drawn from a 2013 collaboration between Carson and conceptual artist Holzer, in which lines of Sappho’s poetry were inscribed on rock faces in Ekeberg Park, Norway, photographs of two works have been reproduced in powerful close-up images that evoke the poetry’s passion and longevity.
Bound in blocked cloth with inset letterpress-printed label. Set in Aria Text. Printed letterpress throughout. 416 pages. Colour frontispiece. Pictorial slipcase. Gilded page tops. Ribbon marker. 10˝ x 7˝.
UK £95.00 US $150.00 Can $189.00 Aus $215.00
For media enquiries please contact
UK & ROW Ken Hooper, Cherish PR
020 3626 0282,
US & Canada Cathleen P. Williamson