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The Poet and the Diplomat
The Correspondence of Dag Hammarskjöld and Alexis Leger

Edited and Translated from the French by Marie-Noëlle Little

Cloth $28.95s    |   0-8156-2925-7    |   2001

Affords an English-speaking audience rare access to the revealing correspondence between two Nobel prize winners.

Marie-Noëlle Little’s expansive prologue to this book sets the stage for situating the two world-renowned personalities in their exchange of letters during the six years before Hammarskjöld's death. The letters themselves are characterized by world vision, a noble tone, and delicate sentiments.

Alexis Leger—later known as the poet Saint-John Perse—and Dag Hammarskjöld were important figures in diplomatic and literary spheres and their lives shared a number of uncanny parallels that eventually brought them into contact with one another. Alexis Leger, French Secretary General of Foreign Affairs, perhaps saw in Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld the continuation of his diplomatic career, while Hammarskjöld, in the midst of difficult international crisies, found inspiration and strength in reading and translating Perse’s poem Chronique.

This correspondence has both literary and political content that sheds light on some of the major political events of the day but also serves as an important manifestation of the tradition of connecting diplomacy and the arts.

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Marie-Noëlle Little is professor of French and coordinator of foreign languages at Utica College of Syracuse University, Utica, New York.

6 x 9, 208 pages, photographs

The Poet and the Diplomat

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