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Paul Buck

Gender: Male
Country: United Kingdom

Born 1946 in Woolwich (London)


Studied Chemistry/Geology at Chelsea College in 1964, but left before completion, having discovered the Arts via the nearby Chelsea Art School, the Royal Court Theatre – where I became a studio writer alongside Edward Bond and Heathcote Williams –, and as the music writer for the College newspaper, doing weekly interviews at Ready Steady Go.


Self taught as writer and artist in the late 60s milieu. Worked at Better Books (with its underground theatre, film & poetry activities from People Show, Filmmakers Coop etc), then with the main poetry publisher Fulcrum Press, working weekends at UFO club, then Middle Earth and writing for International Times & others.


My work derives from the text, from language, finding expression not only on the page in the traditional form of books, but through various performance approaches that range from film & theatre to what was once termed 'performance art' through to 'poetry readings' and 'music performances,' often resulting in other textual realizations.


Writing: Around 50 books, including poetry, prose, fiction, performance books... Titles include: Lust, Ulli's Room, Naming Names, The Halter of Passion, Violations, No Title, Damage, Where We Touch, Walking Into Myself... I’m also engaged on a series of collaborations with the artist David Barton, resulting in a series of books: Spoil, Hitch, Stills, Shifts, Shreds, Pull, Wrench, Slam, Stark, Close…

Hundreds of inclusions in magazines and books in Britain, America and Europe, particularly France, where I'm extensively translated and have a cult novel, The Honeymoon Killers, in two versions with the Série Noire & the Rivages/Noir series.

French & Belgium magazines include Change, Obliques, Exit, In'hui, Odradek, Donner à Voir… with translations by Bernard Noël, Jean-Pierre Faye, Jean Paris, Jacques Darras, Christian Tarting...


In 1970s, edited what became a major literary/arts magazine, Curtains, that presented contemporary French-language writing, particularly Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Bernard Noël, Jean-Pierre Faye, Jacques Derrida, Marcelin Pleynet, Edmond Jabès, Jacques Roubaud, Charles Juliet, Mitsou Ronat, Laure, Agnès Rouzier, Danielle Collobert, Jean Frémon, Roger Laporte, Jean Daive, Alain Veinstein, Eugène Savitzkaya, Anne-Marie Albiach, Claude Royet-Journoud, Roger Munier...and interwove the translations with British writers like Iain Sinclair, Allen Fisher, Eric Mottram...and Americans like Robert Kelly, Paul Auster, Clayton Eshleman...and artists like Susan Hiller, Velickovic, Paul Neagu, Gina Pane, Brian Catling, Jean-Luc Parant, Alison Wilding... As a result I spent time in France, formed the group SET International with Jean Pierre Faye from the Change Collectif, and guest edited various magazines and anthologies of English writings for various publishers.

Also performed regularly in places like Centre Beaubourg, Museum of Modern  Art (including as part of Un Certain Art Anglais), Librarie Obliques...and often participated in conferences around English & French literature both in Paris & London.

This was a period that enabled me to explore vocalizations via Artaud and the Lettristes, attracting the attention and support of Henri Michaux.


Through and since the 70s I have worked with various forms of performance, initially as part of London Calling with Tina Keane, Rose Finn-Kelcey, David Medalla, Paul Burwell, Carlyle Reedy, Amikan various venues like Acme Gallery, Air Gallery, ICA and other galleries around Britain and Europe.

My oral performance work has developed from research that owes to music sources (Berio, Scelsi...) as well as to ethnic and poetry traditions.

My most recent performances have been at The Institution of Rot, The Museum of Modern  Art (Oxford) and at the ICA as part of the Artaud/Genet weekend along with a mix of artists like Peter Sellars, Jodorowski, Patti Smith, Pierre Guyotat...where I performed a selection of Artaud's texts, vocalizing in a manner derived from his ideas.


In the last year or so I’ve been reading/performing for Frozen Tears launches (as I’m in all three issues to date); presenting papers at Art & Conference at ICA; Writing as Art Practice Conference at ICA; Courting Disaster at Writing in Literature & in Psychoanalysis Conference of Centre for Freudian Analysis & Research; Library: A Suitable Case for Treatment (on Richard Prince) at Serpentine Gallery; An Act of Editing: The Art of Escape in Existential Territories Series at Book Works… And editing/curating the exhibition Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder in The Apartment.


Working with film and video from time to time, including a two hour feature on super 8 entitled Crowd Scenes, I started and developed an audio-visual department at Medway College of A&D (now part of The Kent Institute) and taught there through the 80s and early 90s, working alongside musicians like Andrew Poppy, Jack Hues, Geoff Warren...

Have taught & lectured at various institutions in the Art school system. Most recently I was a visiting tutor in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College.


Music: Since the 1980s I have made 10 albums with others: Jacques & Absinthe with Marc Almond (translating Brel, Grèco, Sartre, Barbara, Ferré, Rimbaud, Baudelaire...); Melinda Miel (writing her 2 albums of devastating torch singing), 48 Cameras (the Belgian art-music group for which I wrote & performed the texts).


In 1984, with Roger Ely, we staged a Festival, Violent Silence, around Georges Bataille for a week at the Bloomsbury Theatre in London. Each night began with a full stage production of My Mother, directed by Mick Eaton & Michele Frankel, followed by a variety of performances by Cosey Fanni Tutti, Marc Almond, Bernard Noël, Terence Sellers... and films by John Maybury, Derek Jarman, Steve Dwoskin, Cerith Wyn Evans...


My textual work has spread onto canvas, glass, and other materials, and become part of documentation from performances over the years. It has also extended to exhibitions, like the Cabinet Gallery where texts were directly worked on the walls in printed and handwritten form. I am currently preparing an exhibition ‘in the disappearing mist, the gift whispers’ at Focal Point Gallery that comprises my own textual work, but also invites into the space other artists from Britain, France & Germany.


Over the years I have translated various books & texts from French, as noted above, initially for my magazine Curtains, as well as other writers like Pascal Quignard, Jacques Sojcher, Pierre Bourgeade, Jacqueline Risset, Sylvie Nève, Danielle Collobert, Jean Paris, Eduado de Gregorio, Roger Giroux... and later for publishers, e.g., The Castle of Communion by Bernard Noël for Atlas Books. Eugène Savitzkaya's play, Celebration of an improbable and unlimited marriage for a production & publication in book form. Decadence of the Nude, essays by Pierre Klossowski and Maurice Blanchot for Black Dog Publications. And, more recently, Pornocracy by Catherine Breillat, Alice the sausage by Sophie Jabès, In Pursuit of Treasure Island by Raul Ruiz… and forthcoming in 2012, The Wit of the Staircase, the last novel by Raul Ruiz. Works by Pierre Klossowski and Bernard Noël are in progress, plus a collection of writings from Le Grand Jeu.


With my wife, Catherine Petit, we translate regularly for Dis Voir in Paris, including in recent times, books of essays on Bruno Dumont, Kim Ki-dukKeep This Sex Out of My Sight, essays on the female sex in art; Black is a Color by Elvan Zabunyan; Narrativity: How Visual Arts, Cinema and Literature are telling the world today, essays by René Audet, Claude Romano, Laurence Dreyfus, Carl Therrien and Hugues Marchal; Encounters series: Coupland/Huyghe; Kac/Ronell; Briand/Foucard; Senges/de Crécy…

I also work for Museu Serralves in Porto and Gulbenkian in Lisbon, both as translator of texts originated in French as well as English language editor for their publications.

This year, as last year, we are the translators for all the official publications of Paris Photo at the Grand Palais.


I have completed the first volume of a trilogy: The Three Faces of Liège, that explores Liège in a fresh way, drawing on cultural interweavings as well as historical, geographical & architectural devolpments, tied together with the mythology of Sir John Mandeville on the one hand, and Georges Simenon on the other, and infused with my autobiographical notes relating to my trips to Liège over twenty years. I am particularly interested in the notion of verticality, a notion I interpret not only geologically, and historically, but also in terms of the arts as well as, for example, psychoanalysis (one of Freud's significant influences, Joseph Delboeuf, lived in Liège.) Subsequent volumes in the trilogy will centre on Lisbon and Rome – two other seven-hilled cities – with a coda pulling all the threads into Paris.


I have published a book on the literary and cultural world of Lisbon for the Cities of the Imagination series with Signal Books, here and the US. A second edition is due.


Spread Wide, an encounter between Kathy Acker & myself, generated from a correspondence between us some years ago was published in Paris by Dis Voir, in an English version, to be followed in time by a French version.


A few months ago I published A Public Intimacy (BookWorks), which draws on my cultural scrapbooks, dating back to 1964, plotting my involvement in art and cultural activities, particularly in relation to French involvements.


To appear in autumn 2012 will be my book on the film Performance (Cammell/Roeg, 1970), a lengthy examination in terms of British & European art & cinema.


Ongoing projects include a labour of love, a large work on “Paris through its cinema”, an exploration that is neither textbook or travel guide, but an essay that seeks to seduce the reader to sit before the large or small screen and then leap to Paris to bask in the ideas offered, whether they be informative, anecdotal, or displays of the author’s passion for his subject and French culture; and, using as inspiration, a series of works on “Jane Eyre”, created by Paula Rego, and drawing from the original novel & other resources, the writing of a theatre work that tests the bounds of theatre, that links me back to those heady days of the late 60s when anything was possible in theatre.



                       PAUL BUCK:  TRANSLATIONS


Georges Bataille: poems and texts from 1972 to present for:

Curtains (magazine I edited from 1970-1979 that presented French literature)

Violent Silence (book of the Bataille Festival I produced in London in 1984)

Cabinet Gallery catalogue; Poetry Socety Book Supplement; ARC catalogue (Paris); Lobby; Intimacy; Bananas, Spectacular Diseases, Frozen Tears...


The Little One (Le Petit) in Living Hand (magazine edited by Paul Auster in 70s) & extracted later in Ecorché, Tak Tak Tak...

The Deadman (Le Mort) in Violent Silence book

My Mother (Ma Mère) – adapted as a play, performed in London 1983 at Riverside Studios, and in 1984 as part of Violent Silence, a week-long Bataille Festival I produced at Bloomsbury Theatre, London.


Bernard Noël: Poems, texts, essays, interviews in magazines and anthologies 1974 to present:

Curtains; Modern Poetry in Translation; Invisible City (USA); Etymspheres (Australia); Tak Tak Tak; Dremples (Holland); Tangent; L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E (USA); in Southern Illinois University Press collection of essays (USA); Earthship (Australia); Temblor (USA); Substance (USA); Words Worth; Merri Creak (Australia); Bananas; New Directions Anthology (USA); Lobby; British Council publication (Paris); Spectacular Diseases; Scripsi (Australia); Intimacy; Paper Air (USA); Poetic Journal (USA); Violent Silence book; Masquerade anthology (USA); Anthology of Erotic Writings (London & USA), Frozen Tears...


Even Here a Naked Hand by Robert Varlez, intro by Noël, in french/english

Spectacular Diseases, special issue on Noël with essays, texts, poems, interviews, that I edited & translated

Castle of Communion (le Château de Cène) Atlas Books, London 1993


Others: Poems, essays & texts, 1972-present, including:

Jo Guglielmi - in Curtains; Modern Poetry in Translation

Alain Remila - in Modern Poetry in Translation

Marcelin Pleynet - in Modern Poetry in Translation; Curtains

Danielle Collobert - in Modern Poetry in Translation; Curtains; Intimacy; Temblor (USA)

Roger Giroux - in Modern Poetry in Translation; Curtains

Jacqueline Risset - in Modern Poetry in Translation; Curtains; Temblor (USA)

Alain Veinstein - in Curtains; New Directions anthology (USA)

Jacques Roubaud - in Curtains

Roger Munier - in Curtains

André Velter - in Curtains

Pierre Dhainaut - in Curtains

Charles Juliet - in Curtains

Roger Laporte - in Curtains; L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E (USA)

Jean-Pierre Faye - in Curtains; preface for Lisbon book

Jean Frémon - in Curtains

Jacques Prevel - in Curtains

Jacques Sojcher - in Poetry Information; Ear in a Wheatfield (Australia)

Eugène Savitzkaya - in Curtains; Tangent; Ecorché; Frozen Tears; French Embassy Bookfair booklet

Patrice Delbourg - in Curtains

Agnès Rouzier - in Curtains; Violent Silence book

Jean-Luc Parant - in Curtains

Laure - in Curtains; Violent Silence book; Bananas; Intimacy; Frozen Tears

Jean-Claude Montel - in Curtains

Mitsou Ronat - in Curtains; Violent Silence

Jean Daive - in New Directions anthology; Curtains; Scripsi (Australia); Lobby

Philippe Boyer - in Curtains

Christian Tarting - in Words Worth

Claude-Royet Journoud - in New Directions anthology

Anne-Marie Albiach - in New Directions anthology

Emmanuel Hocquard - in New Directions anthology

Pascal Quignard - in Lobby; Writing (Canada)

Jean Paris - in Curtains

Jacques Darras - in Encrage (France)

Sylvie Nève - in BP (France)

Jean-Pierre Bobillot - in BP(France); Lobby

Eduado de Gregorio - in Spectacular Diseases

Marc Villard - in Anthology of French Poetry

Pierre Bourgeade - in Spectacular Diseases; Cabinet Gallery catalogue

Antonin Artaud - for ICA performance

Jacques Henric - in Frozen Tears

Pierre Guyotat - in Frozen Tears

Mireille Andrès - in Frozen Tears



Jean-Pierre Faye - essay in Prague (Allison & Busby, 1982)

Pierre Bourgeade - The Nature of the Novel -- commissioned, to appear

Vanessa Duries - The Tie that Binds (Titan, 1995)

Alain Carrazé & Jean-Luc Putheaud - The Avengers Companion (Titan, 1997)

The Landscape Approach of Bernard Lassus (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1998)

Eugène Savitzkaya - Celebration of an Improbable and Limitless Marriage - theatre

Marie André - Narcissus to the dogs - a film on Savitzkaya - subtitled

Barbara Glowczewski - Desert Dreamers - to appear

Coen Brothers - Interviews & articles (Plexus, 2000)

Roger Tallon - essays on (Dis Voir, Paris 1999)

François Bauchet - essays on (Dis Voir, Paris 2000)

Paul Paulin - essays on (Dis Voir, Paris 2001)

Bruno Dumont - essays on (Dis Voir, Paris 2001)

Pierre Klossowski/Maurice Blanchot - Decadence of the Nude (Black Dog Publications 2003)

Marie André - Winter-time - a film, subtitled 2003

Keep This Sex Out of My Sight - essays on the female sex in art (Dis Voir, Paris 2003)

Philippe Brenot - In Praise of Masturbation (Marion Boyars – to a)

Elvan Zabunyan - Black is a Color (Dis Voir, 2005)

Kim Ki-duk - Adrien Gombeaud, Anaïd Demir, Cédric Lagandré & Catherine Capdeville-Zeng (Dis Voir 2006)

Contemporary French Erotica by Women (Thunder’s Mouth Press, New York, 2006)

Narrativity: How Visual Arts, Cinema and Literature are telling the world today - essays by René Audet, Claude Romano, Laurence Dreyfus, Carl Therrien and Hugues Marchal (Dis Voir, 2007)

Alice the sausage - Sophie Jabès (Dedalus Press, 2007)

Gulliver - Pierre Klossowski (Cabinet Gallery, 2008)

Pornocracy - Catherine Breillat (Jovian Books, 2006, Semiotexte, 2008)

In Pursuit of Treasure Island - Raul Ruiz (Dis Voir, 2008)

Life Extreme - Eduardo Kac & Avital Ronnel (Dis Voir, 2007)

Ubïq: A Mental Odyssey - Matthieu Briand & Daniel Foucard (Dis Voir, 2008)

The Mutant Flesh - Denis Baron (Dis Voir, 2009)

The Adventures of Percival - Pierre Senges & Nicolas de Crécy (Dis Voir, 2009)

Digital Magma - Jean-Yves Leloup (Sternberg Press, Berlin & NY, 2010)

The Wit of the Staircase – Raul Ruiz (Dis Voir, 2012) – to appear


Jacques Brel -- translated Le Diable, S'il te faut, L'éclusier, Il nous faut regarder, J'arrive, Litane pour un retour, Ne me quitte pas, La ville s'endormait, Au suivant...

                                   for Jacques -- Marc Almond (Some Bizzare 1989)


Songs by Robert Nyel, Léo Ferré, Juliette Gréco, Sartre, Serge Lama, Barbara, Baudelaire, Rimbaud...

                                   for Absinthe -- Marc Almond (Some Bizzare 1993)