Works of Louise-Victorine Ackermann: My Life, First Poems, Philosophical Poems - Translated from French and with a Philosophical Essay by Fritz Dufour

226 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2017

Date Written: April 23, 2017


Louise Victorine-Ackermann was a French poet. Her works were originally written in French, in verses and in rhymes. But the translations that I propose to you, the reader, are not in rhymes. This is purposely done to keep intact the goal the author wants to accomplish. Any attempt to keep the original format by translating the poems in rhymes would have distorted the work as the new version would be likely to take on new meanings and thus mislead the reader about Ackermann’s true emotions. It would tantamount, on my part, to try to complete an unfinished symphony. In poems, the constitutive elements of a clause are sometimes not ordered. This makes translating poems very challenging. Although I strived to render, to the best of my ability, a faithful translation of the work, at times I couldn’t help to also be transparent, meaning prioritize sense-for-sense translation instead of word for word translation, which is a normal aspect of any translation process.

Reading this outstanding work is transcendental. I compare it to walking inside an empty cathedral, sitting by the seaside alone or lying on your back to gaze at the stars on a balmy summer night. I had a unique experience reading My life – First poems – Philosophical poems. I hope you will too. I invite you to enjoy to the last verse this powerful work from Louise-Victorine Ackermann! (Also, please read my essay at the end, starting at page 152 – or you may read it first to better appreciate Ackermann’s work).

What, who, where, when, why, and how are probably the immediate questions to which you’d like to have answers if you’re reading this essay. If you’ve read the section entitled My life, I’m assuming you already have an idea regarding the first four questions and you’re more interested in the last two. Let me start by saying there is no simple and clear-cut answer to any of these questions. But, before I get to the above-mentioned questions, I’d like to take the opportunity to say what this essay is, meaning what kind or what form of essay is it, in addition to being philosophical in terms of content. As far as the form is concerned, it’s two-pronged. First, it’s a dialectic essay. On the several topics addressed, I present a thesis – short but to the point – and an argument. Then I attempt to object to my own argument, to which I object with a counterargument, but then I counter the counterargument with a final and new argument. This is a technique called Chinese dragon strategy. Second, the essay is critical. Like the work itself, my arguments, although protean, revolve around a recurring issue: suffering and pain.

Suggested Citation

Dufour, Fritz, Works of Louise-Victorine Ackermann: My Life, First Poems, Philosophical Poems - Translated from French and with a Philosophical Essay by Fritz Dufour (April 23, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Fritz Dufour (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

New York, NY

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