When poetry breathes daily
Alongside the activities he undertakes at the heart of the Liègeois Alma Mater, Gérald Purnelle deploys the academic rigour demanded by his editorial work, centred on Belgian poetry written in French. It is in this context that he edited the work of the Liège poet, Jacques Izoard (of which the third and final volume was published in March 2012, by ‘Editions de la Différence’) and in which he oversees, together with the poets Karel Logist and Yves Namur, the ‘Ha!’ publishers series, dedicated to republishing Belgian poets who have written in French. It has just published The Complete Poems of Robert Guiette.
We all know the Roman god Janus, represented with two faces looking in the opposite direction, considered to be the guardian of the ‘gates’ which were dedicated to him, gates which were closed in peacetime and remained open during periods of war. The image of this figure from the age-old pantheon applies particularly well to Robert Guiette. Not because he had Jekyll and Hyde faces, but rather – with a somewhat Voltairean physiognomy – because of a double activity carried out permanently in parallel: a professorial career as an eminent Medievalist on the one hand, and on the other a literary poetic production sustained for over fifty years.
(1) Poésies complètes de Robert Guiette, Châtelineau, Le Taillis Pré, collection « Ha! »