Meditations on Georges de La Tour
Author: Paal-Heige Haugen, Roger Greenwald
Publisher: Book Thug
Release Date: May 20, 2013
Poetry. Bilingual Edition. Translated from the Norwegian by Roger Greenwald. Paal-Helge Haugen's Meditasjonar over Georges de La Tour was published in Norwegian in 1990, won the Norwegian Critics' Prize, and was a finalist for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize. The book consists of a series of thirty-four poems that emerge from Haugen's long engagement with the work of the French painter.
The kinship between Haugen and La Tour can hardly be surprising to anyone familiar with Haugen's poetry and La Tour's paintings: light in all its aspects, including its absence, is central to both bodies of work. Haugen describes these poems as "meditations...on the charged stillness, sorrow and celebration in the marriage of light and dark."
Haugen evokes, juxtaposes, and alludes more than he states, creating a dense web that joins his own world of imagery to La Tour's iconography and atmosphere. These meditations rest on constant tensions between different centuries and belief systems, between different art forms, and between the different but allied sensibilities of the poet and the painter whose work he contemplates.