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Georges Limbour/ Soleils Bas

Georges Limbour/ “Soleils bas”
“La joyeuse cornemuse”
Le chérubin rachitique

soufflait toujours dans un ballon.
Quand il se promenait dans la rue

avec ses poumons dans sa main

les chats aussitôt le suivaient

les bouchers devant leurs viandes

riaient d’un rire apoplectique.
Quand il eut ainsi réuni

les chats d’Europe et d’Amérique

ces animaux le déchirèrent

mais il n’avait que du sang bleu.
Artères, arbres mal plantés

aux avenues des sentiments

qui ne savez que deux saisons,

Quand me pendrai-je à l’ une?
This is one of the remarkable poems in “Soleils Bas” (“Low Sun”) which was first published in 1924. In this 1972 Gallimard edition, this short suite of poems is followed by other selected poems and by stories and tales from 1919-1968.
Georges Limbour (11 August 1900 – 22 May 1970) was a French writer of prose and poetry. He was a member of the Surrealist Movement in Paris during the 1920s, but was expelled in 1929. Before his association with André Breton and the Surrealists, Limbour co-edited, along with Roger Vitrac and René Crevel, the avant-garde review Aventure (1921–22). Later, he contributed to Georges Bataille’s journal Documents (1929–30), and, with a number of other dissident ex-surrealists, signed the anti-Breton pamphlet Un Cadavre.

#ajournalofuneventfuldays #georgeslimbour 

 

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Robert Desnos/ Corps et Biens

Robert Desnos/ Corps et Biens
O douleurs de l’amour!

Comme vous m’êtes nécessaires et comme vous m’êtes chères.Mes yeux qui se fermes sur des larmes imaginaires, mes mains qui se tendent sans cesse vers le vide.J’ai rêvé cette nuit de paysages insensés et d’aventures dangereuses aussi bien du point de vue de la mort que du point de vue de la vie, qui sont aussi le point de vue de l’amour.

(Gallimard, 1975, first published in 1930)
Robert Desnos (French: [dɛsnɔs]; 4 July 1900 – 8 June 1945), was a French surrealist poet who played a key role in the Surrealist movement of his day.
Desnos died in “Malá pevnost”, which was an inner part of Terezín used only for political prisoners, from typhoid, only weeks after the camp’s liberation. He wrote poems during his imprisonment which were accidentally destroyed following his death.
There is a moving anecdote about Desnos last days after liberation while being tended to by a young Czech medical student; published in The Last Album: Eyes from the Ashes of Auschwitz, edited by Ann Weiss.
He was married to Youki Desnos, formerly Lucie Badoud, nicknamed “Youki” (“snow”) by her lover Tsuguharu Foujita before she left him for Desnos. Desnos wrote several poems about her. One of his most famous poems is “Letter to Youki”, written after his arrest.
He is buried at the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris.

Photo: Last known photo of Robert Desnos in the Theresianstadt concentration camp in 1945. 

 

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Guillaume Apollinaire/Alcools

Guillaume Apollinaire/ Alcools
“Le Bestiaire (or ‘Cortège d’Orphée’) is a section in Apollaire’s famous collection of poems called “Alcools”. The wood based illustrations are by Raoul Dufy.

These poems, especially the first one called “Zone”, are considered by some as the real starting point of modern poetry.

Several English translations are available.
(Gallimard, 1975, first edition 1920, first published in 1913) 

   

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George Orwell/ The road to Wigan Pier

George Orwell/ The Road to Wigan Pier
13.

And finally, is there anything one can do about it ?

In the first part of this book I illustrated, by a few brief sidelights, the kind of mess we are in; in this second part I have been trying to explain why, in my opinion, so many normal decent people are repelled by the only remedy, namely by Socialism. Obviously the most urgent need of the next few years is to capture those normal decent ones before Fascism plays its trump card. I do not want to raise here the question of parties and political expedients. More important than any party label (though doubtless the mere menace of Fascism will presently bring some kind of Popular Front into existence) is the diffusion of Socialist doctrine in an effective form. People have got to be made ready to ACT as Socialists. There are, I believe, countless people who, without being aware of it, are in sympathy with the essential aims of Socialism, and who could be won over almost without a struggle if only one could find the word that would move them. Everyone who knows the meaning of poverty, everyone who has a genuine hatred of tyranny and war, is on the Socialist side, potentially. My job here, therefore, is to suggest – necessarily in very general terms – how a reconciliation might be effected between Socialism and its more intelligent enemies.

(…)
( Penguin Books 1975, first published by Victor Gollancz in 1937)
Commisioned by the Left Book Club (who perhaps got more than they bargained for), George Orwell set out to explore the coal areas of Lancashire and Yorkshire at a time of mass unemployment.

In a series of painfully clear descriptions – of the mines, of unemployment, of overcrowding and malnutrition, Orwell exposed a cruel system. In this, and in his bitter attack on fashionable, intellectual and bourgeois socialists, his ‘Urban Rides’ are that rarity: the polemic that loses none of its force with the passage of time. (on back cover)George Orwell/ The Road to Wigan Pier
13.

And finally, is there anything one can do about it ?

In the first part of this book I illustrated, by a few brief sidelights, the kind of mess we are in; in this second part I have been trying to explain why, in my opinion, so many normal decent people are repelled by the only remedy, namely by Socialism. Obviously the most urgent need of the next few years is to capture those normal decent ones before Fascism plays its trump card. I do not want to raise here the question of parties and political expedients. More important than any party label (though doubtless the mere menace of Fascism will presently bring some kind of Popular Front into existence) is the diffusion of Socialist doctrine in an effective form. People have got to be made ready to ACT as Socialists. There are, I believe, countless people who, without being aware of it, are in sympathy with the essential aims of Socialism, and who could be won over almost without a struggle if only one could find the word that would move them. Everyone who knows the meaning of poverty, everyone who has a genuine hatred of tyranny and war, is on the Socialist side, potentially. My job here, therefore, is to suggest – necessarily in very general terms – how a reconciliation might be effected between Socialism and its more intelligent enemies.

(…)
( Penguin Books 1975, first published by Victor Gollancz in 1937)
Commisioned by the Left Book Club (who perhaps got more than they bargained for), George Orwell set out to explore the coal areas of Lancashire and Yorkshire at a time of mass unemployment.

In a series of painfully clear descriptions – of the mines, of unemployment, of overcrowding and malnutrition, Orwell exposed a cruel system. In this, and in his bitter attack on fashionable, intellectual and bourgeois socialists, his ‘Urban Rides’ are that rarity: the polemic that loses none of its force with the passage of time. (on back cover)

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Pearls Before Swine/ Another Time

Pearls Before Swine/ Another Time

Tom Rapp wrote this wonderful song in 1967 for his band Pearls Before Swine and it was the opener on their first album called “One Nation Underground”. Both this record and the equally great follow-up “Balaklava” were on on the legendary Esp Disk-label.
By the way, imo Balaklava is among the best folkrock albums ever made.
Bass is quiet and solemn, deep down in the mix, you need good speakers to appreciate it, which is important because it’s essential to the “nature” of this song.

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The war against the Rull

A.E. van Vogt

The War against the Rull

I.
As the spaceship vanished into the steamy mists of Eristan II, Trevor Jamieson drew his gun. He felt dizzy, sickened by the way he ha been tossed and buffeted for long moments in the furious wind stream of the great ship. But awareness of danger held him tense there in the harness that was attached by cables to the anti-gravity plate above him. With narrowed eyes, he stared up at the ezwal which was peering down at him over the edge of the still swaying skycraft.
It three-in-line eyes, as grey as dully polished steel, gazed gazed at him unwinking; its massive blue head poised alertly and – Jamieson knew – ready to jerk back the instant it read in his thoughts an intention of shooting.
(…)

(Panther Granada, 1978, first published by Simon & Schuster, 1959)

Man has conquered space and spread throughout the galaxy. Many civilizations on several thousand planets joined in a vast confederation whose very existence is now threatened by the Rull – a paranoid, murderous race from beyond the frontiers of human territory…

van Vogt is one of the acknowledged masters of science fiction in the grand mannet. In this gripping, fast-paced story packed with mind-stretching excitement, he gives his unmatched imagination full rein. (on back cover)

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Mistletoe

Mistletoe

Mistletoe (Viscum album) in the sycamore trees (or plane trees) in a nearby village called Tielt-Winge, in the heart of Belgium.
Mistletoe is the common name for most obligate hemiparasitic plants in the order Santalales. Mistletoes attach to and penetrate the branches of a tree or shrub by a structure called the haustorium, through which they absorb water and nutrients from the host plant.

The Mistletoe Magic :
From the earliest times mistletoe has been one of the most magical, mysterious, and sacred plants of European folklore. It was considered to bestow life and fertility; a protection against poison; and an aphrodisiac. The mistletoe of the sacred oak was especially sacred to the ancient Celtic Druids. On the sixth night of the moon white-robed Druid priests would cut the oak mistletoe with a golden sickle. Two white bulls would be sacrificed amid prayers that the recipients of the mistletoe would prosper. Later, the ritual of cutting the mistletoe from the oak came to symbolize the emasculation of the old King by his successor. Mistletoe was long regarded as both a sexual symbol and the “soul” of the oak. It was gathered at both mid-summer and winter solstices, and the custom of using mistletoe to decorate houses at Christmas is a survival of the Druid and other pre-Christian traditions. The Greeks also thought that it had mystical powers and down through the centuries it became associated with many folklore customs. In the Middle Ages and later, branches of mistletoe were hung from ceilings to ward off evil spirits. In Europe they were placed over house and stable doors to prevent the entrance of witches. It was also believed that the oak mistletoe could extinguish fire. This was associated with an earlier belief that the mistletoe itself could come to the tree during a flash of lightning. The traditions which began with the European mistletoe were transferred to the similar American plant with the process of immigration and settlement.
Kissing under the mistletoe :
Kissing under the mistletoe is first found associated with the Greek festival of Saturnalia and later with primitive marriage rites. They probably originated from two beliefs. One belief was that it has power to bestow fertility. It was also believed that the dung from which the mistletoe would also possess “life-giving” power. In Scandinavia, mistletoe was considered a plant of peace, under which enemies could declare a truce or warring spouses kiss and make-up. Later, the eighteenth-century English credited with a certain magical appeal called a kissing ball.
#ajournalofuneventfuldays #mistletoe

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