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Award-winning Swiss poet Jaccottet dies at 95

Philippe Jaccottet won many prestigious awards in his lifetime. He is seen here in 1988 receiving a translation prize in Lausanne, where his archives are housed. Keystone / Str

The Swiss poet, translator and literary critic Philippe Jaccottet, winner of numerous prizes including the Goncourt poetry prize, has died at the age of 95.

This content was published on February 26, 2021 - 18:20
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His family said on Thursday night that he died at his home in Grignan in southeast France, where he is to be buried.

A French-speaking Swiss national, he is one of only three poets, along with René Char and Saint-John Perse, to have been published during his lifetime in the prestigious Pléiade collection.

French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute in a statement calling him "one of the greatest poets of the century, who sang of the beauty of the world and the fragility of words".

Jaccottet’s books have been translated into about 20 languages. In addition, he translated numerous authors and poets into French, including Homer, Rainer Maria Rilke, Friedrich Hölderlin, Robert Musil, Thomas Mann and Ingeborg Bachmann. He has received numerous awards, including the Schiller Grand Prize in 2010.

Philippe Jaccottet was born on 30 June 1925 in Moudon, in the western Swiss canton of Vaud, and spent most of his life in Grignan. His archives are housed in the cantonal library in the Vaud capital Lausanne.


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