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Translated from the French by Kathleen McGookey
Published: Sun Jul 1 2007
Eva Lundsager, Were now like (detail), 2021, oil on canvas
A Russian Guide

Translated from the French by Kathleen McGookey

 

She is twenty, wears jeans, and up there, she sleeps like a log, like Natacha Rostov. She doesn’t know anything about her, she refuses to talk about Russian writers. Besides, since they don’t belong to me, she is willing to loan them because I have paid, to extricate herself. She keeps her distance, I help her liberate herself, I walk alone on Russian soil in the footsteps of the great men I love. They are there, I saw their statues, their houses, their cemetery. That must suffice.

 

Georges Godeau was born in 1921 in Villiers-en-Plaine, France, worked as an engineer, and published sixteen books before his death in 1999. His work won the Prix du Livre in Poitou-Charentes. Though he is widely translated into Russian and Japanese, almost none of his writings have appeared in English.

Kathleen McGookey’s first book of poems, Whatever Shines, is available from White Pine Press. More of her translations of Godeau’s work appear in Chase Park, Connecticut Review, Denver Quarterly, The Interlochen Review, Mid-American Review, Natural Bridge, Rhino, Salt Hill, and Stand. (10/2007)

Georges Godeau (1921–1999) was born in Villiers-en-Plaine, France, worked as an engineer, and published sixteen books. His work won the Prix du Livre in Poitou-Charentes. Though he is widely translated into Russian and Japanese, almost none of his writings have appeared in English.

Kathleen McGookey’s first book of poems, Whatever Shines, is available from White Pine Press. More of her translations of Godeau’s work appear in Chase Park, Connecticut Review, Denver Quarterly, The Interlochen Review, Mid-American Review, Natural Bridge, Rhino, Salt Hill, and Stand. (updated 10/2007)

AGNI has published the following translations:

A Russian Guide by Georges Godeau
Paradise by Georges Godeau
Illusions by Georges Godeau
Gallo-Roman by Georges Godeau
Gwen by Georges Godeau

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