Richard Howard


Richard Howard is the author of seventeen volumes of poetry and has published more than one hundred fifty translations from the French, including, for NYRB, Marc Fumaroli’s When the World Spoke French, Balzac’s Unknown Masterpiece, and Maupassant’s Alien Hearts. He has received a National Book Award for his translation of Les Fleurs du Mal and a Pulitzer Prize for Untitled Subjects, a collection of poetry. His most recent book of poems, inspired by his own schooling in Ohio, is A Progressive Education (2014).

Books
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    Conversations with Beethoven

    Deaf but still able to converse, Beethoven “heard” those around him by means of conversation books in which friends and family jotted down communications. This daring novel, featuring a Dickensian cast, is a fictional reconstruction of these books. In it we see the aging composer struggling with his art, fighting illness, and perpetually worried about the fate of his wayward ward and nephew, Karl.

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    When The World Spoke French

    If you were a writer, thinker, or lover of la douceur de vivre (the sweetness of life) during the 17th century, you conversed and corresponded in French. Eminent scholar Fumaroli has here assembled an unparalleled collection of the most fascinating figures from the period and brought together their rarely seen writings originally penned in French. Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Howard translates.

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    Alien Hearts

    Maupassant’s last completed novel is the story of three lovers bound by bitterness and infatuation. Richard Howard’s new English translation of this complex and brooding psychological novel reveals the final, unexpected flowering of the great French realist’s art.

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    The Unknown Masterpiece

    The story, which has served as an inspiration to artists as various as Cézanne, Henry James, Picasso, and New Wave director Jacques Rivette, is, in critic Dore Ashton’s words, a “fable of modern art.”