Steles is a major work of the French writer Victor Segalen; this is the first complete translation into English. As Michael Taylor notes in his foreword, the poems were inspired by the "solemn presence... and grave resistance to the flux of shifting memories" of the ancient funerary steles found in China. The inspiration was thorough and going for it transformed Segalen, a 32-year-old medical officer, who had written little verse, into a recognized "poet of the far East." His writings became the source for music, art, and critical analysis. Paul Auster calls Steles "one of the strangest and most beautiful books of poetry written in this century... Michael Taylor has done a flawless job in capturing the slow music and power of the original texts." Painter Walasse Ting provided calligraphic poem and section titles for the edition. The cover of the paper edition reproduces a Sam Francis "stele painting." Printed letterpress on fine paper, in several colors, in a narrow, tablet-like format. Translated by Michael Taylor.
Published by The Lapis Press, Santa Monica, California, 1987, 144 pages, 9 in. x 5 in.