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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Nikolai Ekk

Nikolai Ekk
1902-1976
(image source: Poemas del rio Wang)
no copyright infringement intended


He made very few movies (just six in all, throughout a long career, spanning from 1828 to 1967). Despite this so small number of films, he keeps an important place place in the history of Soviet cinematography: Nikolai Ekk produced their first sound film (Road to Life, 1931) and the first color one (The Nightingale, 1936).




(Russian and Soviet Cinema)

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Monday, January 29, 2018

Abram Room, Bed and Sofa, 1927

Третья Мещанская (Bed and Sofa), 1927
film poster
(image source: movpins)
no copyright infringement intended


We'd expect a Soviet movie to be framed in some Soviet canons. Well, with many Soviet movies of the twenties, simply it's not the case. Look for instance at this Третья Мещанская (Bed and Sofa), created by Abram Room in 1927. It's the story of a ménage à trois à la russe, started (and keeping on) due to the huge housing problems of those years, and evolving into something that could suggest kind of a same-sex resolution.

It's Moscow of the twenties, housing problems are huge, it's far from the period of continuous development of huge ugly projects with myriads of small anonymous apartments. Right now it's just that, an old city with an ever growing number of people coming in, and it's impossible to find a dwelling for everyone. It comes that anyone finds a solution on its on, sharing bed and sofa and even more.

Some say that this movie alludes to the tempestuous story between Majakovsky and Lilya Brik. I don't know whether it's the case. Simply the Soviet mentalities of the twenties were unexpectedly free when it was coming to the gender issues, putting men and women on an equal footing on anything related to family, attitude toward sex, conjugal fidelity and ejusdem farinae. All this would radically change a few years later, but by then it was just the decade of the twenties. Anyway a wonderful comedy, full of tempo, and full of warmth, of sympathy for each hero, the wife and the two men.





A bit about the actors. Let's mention firstly Lyudmila Semyonova, playing with wonderful subtlety in the role of the wife. I saw her also in a much later movie, from 1961, The Steamroller and the Violin, the first oeuvre of Tarkovsky. Nikolai Batalov was in the role of the husband. He was an interesting actor, unfortunately he died too young and played only in ten movies throughout his life. I already watched three of them (and maybe I will come here with the fourth). His namesake, Aleksey Batalov (no relation between the two) would make a much, much longer career. And Vladimir Fogel in the role of husband's friend and competitor, he was one of the leading actors of his generation (the best, as Pudovkin would state later). He died tragically in 1929, being only 27 years old. Despite his brief life he played in fourteen movies.



Lyudmila Semyonova
(image from Bed and Sofa)
source: listal
no copyright infringement intended






(Abram Room)

(Majakovsky)

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Chris Doyle, Filming in the Neon World

Chris Doyle (杜可風, Like the Wind)
(image source: 10 things about Chris Doyle)
no copyright infringement intended



in his own words: whatever film I take on, it’s not about the script, it’s not about… certainly not about the money, it’s not about my so-called career; it’s always about the people; they are friends first


Chris Doyle is one of my heroes.








(Wong Kar-Way and Chris Doyle)

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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Forty-First

(image source: © ozon)
no copyright infringement intended

Сорок первым должен был стать на Марюткином смертном счету гвардии поручик Говоруха-Отрок. А стал первым на счету девичьей радости.


It's during the Russian Civil War; she is a sniper in the Red Army; he is an officer at the Whites and her prisoner; she must shoot him is he to escape; these are the orders; suddenly a storm leaves them alone on a deserted island; the two fall in love (you'd say it's kind of Stockholm syndrome avant la lettre, somehow turned upside-down, whatever); the occasion for him to escape arrives, will she follow her orders or rather her heart? add to this his uncanny gift of retelling the story of Robinson; add to this the strange magic of the Karakum desert - blue sky infinite over yellow sand infinite - and of the Aral sea - yellow sun infinite over blue sea infinite; all this magic can make you falling madly in love, or simply falling mad.



(image source: © otzovik)
no copyright infringement intended


Boris Lavrenev wrote this story in 1924; it was published in Zvezda (a literary magazine led by that time by Ivan Maisky, who would later become one of the most outstanding Soviet diplomats of the epoch); in 1927 Yakov Protazanov adapted the story to film; Grigori Chukhrai made a remake in 1956.






I took contact with the three oeuvres in reverse order. Firstly I saw the movie of Chukhrai, sometime by the 1960's. I had already watched his Ballad of a Soldier and Clear Skies and I was very impressed by his his way of telling the stories, distancing from the official artistic dogmas, being simply natural. Obviously I was interested to see also The Forty-First, made earlier than the other two. I wanted to make a comparison, to see if his attitude towards life had been free at the same degree. As for the movie of Protazanov, it was impossible to find it.


(image source: © otzovik)
no copyright infringement intended


The memory of Chukhrai's movie came to my mind recently, and I watched it again, on youTube. A great director, a great cinematographer (Sergey Urusevskyi) producing hallucinatory imagery. And Oleg Strizhenov was unforgettably telling the story of Robinson, setting with it the frame for the magic.

This time I watched immediately also the movie of Protazanov on youTube. Another great director, another great cinematographer (Pyotr Yermolov, I did not know much about him). Ivan Koval-Samborsky was in the role of the White officer, an actor with a dramatic biography.

Surely I wanted to go further, to the original story. I found a very well written summary on the web, then I ordered an English translation of the book on Amazon. I read it in one day. Though I knew now the plot very well, the book could not be left up to the last page.




Lavrenev, Protazanov and Chukhrai, three artists telling the same story, while contemplating it differently.

Let's begin with the movie created by Chukhrai. It was his first movie, made in 1956. The Soviet society was beginning a painful process of freeing itself from the Stalinist referential, of opening the windows toward fresh air. Though this process was tightly controlled and had very strict limits, for many people living in those years the effort was genuine. And the movie of Chukhrai was trying just that: to find out what was beyond the political datum. The director set the story under a deep humanist credo: Soviet musts could not be absolute - beyond them life was claiming its rights to exist. The story of love, yes, that was absolute, and it was tragic, because the political chains could not be broken. The tone of the story seemed very personal: the effort of the love story to liberate itself from the political realities was the same with the effort of Chukhrai to go beyond the dogmas of the regime.

Lavrenev's story (and Protazanov's film) had a different tonality: a fact of life observed from afar and told with a good dose of detachment. This time the political realities constituted the absolute, with their two totally separated universes, the Reds and the Whites. Anything that appeared beyond, like the story of love, was just absurd. But this meant that life in general was absurd, which ultimately implied even the political reality. The two universes were not only hostile, each one was perceiving the other without any correspondence in the reality. It was not clear at all (to use Anthony Loyd's way of telling things) whether they were fighting the good cause for the wrong reason or the wrong cause for the good reason. His Holiness the Paradox seemed to be in control of the whole circus. There is in Lavrenev's story (well reproduced by Protazanov's movie) a subtle sense of Swiftian irony.


(image source: © otzovik)
no copyright infringement intended


But all this irony is greatly balanced by a feeling of empathy for each personage and each fact. From the story author, as well as from the movie director. As absurd as they could be these facts and these people, everything is observed with a great science of the human - human naivete, weaknesses, illusions, absurdity - the whole is wrapped by something like a charm.

And actually this charm links all three artists, LavrenevProtazanov and Chukhrai, beyond their different tonalities in telling the story. The magic of the infinite dialog of the sun with the sky, the desert, the sea. Paradox at Lavrenev/Protazanov, tragedy at Chukhrai, it is beyond the same magic, following its unknown laws, maybe unaware of our struggles, however sending us, through these artists and their books and movies, discrete signals of sympathy.


Лавренев родился в зеленом, «уютном, ласковом», Херсоне. Близость Черного моря, старинные крепостные укрепления, излучающие поэзию исторических воспоминаний, широта степного простора вокруг, голубизна южного неба над головой — эти впечатления детства во многом определят темы, место действия, краски, самый стиль будущих произведений писателя, их жизнелюбивый пафос, их праздничную приподнятость, их яркую живописность.
(source: otzovik)





(Boris Lavrenev)

(Yakov Protazanov)

(Grigori Chukhrai)

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Monday, January 22, 2018

Le Pour et le Contre







Récemment Gallimard prit la décision de sortir une nouvelle édition des trois pamphlets (Bagatelles pour un massacre, L'École des cadavres, Les Beaux Draps) écrits par Céline en 1937, 1938 et 1941 respectivement; une vive controverse s'ensuivit (même si l'édition allait être accompagné d'un épais appareil critique), due au caractère fort antisémite de ces ouvrages; comme toujours chaque argument vient avec le pour et le contre; le lecteur doit avoir la possibilité de connaître le travail d'un auteur dans son intégralité pour faire ses propres jugements, pour en tirer ses propres conclusions; eh bien, ça se passe dans un univers idéal, le nôtre est différent; il y a toujours des questions sensibles qui reclament des limites à ce qu'on peut être publié et ce qu'on peut pas; faire publier Bagatelles pour un massacre après tout-ce que s'était passé pendant la guerre aurait été une disgrâce; mais quand on parle limites on parle censure; et ça a aussi un effet perverse; censurer n'importe-quoi ne fait que susciter la curiosité publique, c'est la temptation du fruit défendu; alors un livre censuré circule bel et bien en samizdat (et aujourd'hui l'Internet rend inutile même le samizdat); quand même, la décision d'une maison éditoriale signifie une prise de position; bien sûr, le moment aussi est important; il vient un temps quand un tel livre doit être publié tout court et laissé au jugement personel du lecteur; à toute chose sa saison, un temps pour jeter des pierres, un temps pour les ramasser, au moins c'est la parole de l'Ecclésiaste; (et bien sûr, il y a beaucoup d'autres considérations à faire, tirées de l'Ecclésiaste ou d'ailleurs); bref, pour le moment Gallimard renonça au projet, estimant que « les conditions méthodologiques et mémorielles ne sont pas réunies pour l'envisager sereinement. »






(Céline)

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Friday, January 19, 2018

Grigori Chukhrai

Григо́рий Нау́мович Чухра́й
1921-2001
(image source: film ru)
no copyright infringement intended


Grigori Chukhrai made just a handful of movies, each one memorable. I already talked here about Ballad of a Soldier (Баллада о солдате), which is a masterpiece, and I intend to talk soon about The Forty-First (Сорок первый), a remake after a Protazanov's film based on a story authored by Boris Lavrenev. I mentioned here all three names, as each of them treated the same subject in a subtly different manner. I'll come back (hopefully soon).







(Russian and Soviet Cinema)

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Yakov Protazanov

Я́ков Алекса́ндрович Протаза́нов
1881-1945
(image source: MUBI)
no copyright infringement intended


Protazanov was one of the funding fathers of Russian cinema. Between 1909-1919 he directed 90 movies. From 1920 to 1823 he worked abroad, then he returned to homeland and made other 18 films. His last one, Nasreddin in Bukhara, was made in 1943.





(Filmele Avangardei)

(Russian and Soviet Cinema)

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Silvio Rodríguez, Ojalá

Ojalá
(fuente: Discogs)
no copyright infringement intended




Ojalá: from Old Spanish oxalá, from Arabic وشاء اللّٰه‏ (wa-šā’ allāh) ("and may God will it"). Compare English inshallah, Portuguese oxalá, Maltese jalla (source: wiktionary)


Ojalá que las hojas no te toquen el cuerpo
Cuando caigan
Para que no las puedas convertir en cristal
Ojalá que la lluvia deje de ser milagro
Que baja por tu cuerpo
Ojalá que la luna pueda salir sin ti
Ojalá que la tierra no te bese los pasos

Ojalá se te acabe la mirada constante
La palabra precisa, la sonrisa perfecta
Ojalá pase algo que te borre de pronto
Una luz segadora, un disparo de nieve
Ojalá por lo menos que me lleve la muerte
Para no verte tanto para no verte siempre
En todos los segundos en todas las visiones
Ojalá que no pueda tocarte ni en canciones

Ojalá que la aurora no dé gritos que caigan
En mi espalda
Ojalá que tu nombre se le olvide a esa voz
Ojalá las paredes no retengan tu ruido
De camino cansado
Ojalá que el deseo se vaya tras de ti
A tu viejo gobierno de difuntos y flores

Ojalá se te acabe la mirada constante
La palabra precisa la sonrisa perfecta
Ojalá pase algo que te borre de pronto
Una luz segadora, un disparo de nieve
Ojalá por lo menos que me lleve la muerte
Para no verte tanto para no verte siempre
En todos los segundos en todas las visiones
Ojalá que no pueda tocarte ni en canciones
Ojala pase algo que te borre de pronto
Una luz segadora, un disparo de nieve
Ojalá por lo menos que me lleve la muerte
Para no verte tanto para no verte siempre
En todos los segundos en todas las visiones
Ojala que no pueda tocarte ni en canciones
(fuente: letras)






Silvio Rodríguez: esta canción yo la compuse dedicada a una mujer de nombre Emilia Sánchez, que podríamos decir, fue mi primer amor. Fue un amor que tuve cuando estuve en el ejército, haciendo mi servicio militar. La conocí cuando tenía 18 años, fue mi primer amor importante en el sentido de que fue el primer amor que me enseñó cosas. Era una muchacha mucho más evolucionada que yo, mucho más inteligente, más culta. Me enseñó, por ejemplo, a César Vallejo. Después nos tuvimos que separar, estaba estudiando medicina y en fin, no le cuadró. No sé por qué estudió medicina, cosa loca de ella, en realidad siempre fue de letras. Después estudió letras, se fue a su pueblo Camagüey, a estudiar eso y yo me quedé solo aquí en la La Habana, totalmente desolado. Pasaron los años y el recuerdo de aquel amor tan bonito, tan productivo, tan útil (ojo, no confundir con utilitario), enriquecedor, de aporte a uno... pues, estaba obsesionado yo con esa idea. Y porque fue un amor frustrado, tronchado por las circunstancias, por la vida, no fue una cosa que se agotara, pues se me quedó un poco como un fantasma y por eso compuse esta canción en un momento quizás de delirio, de arrebato, de sentimiento un poco desmesurado: ojalá esto, ojalá lo otro (fuente: wiki)


May the leaves not touch your body when they fall
So that you don’t turn them to glass
May the rain cease to be a miracle flowing over your body
May the moon be able to rise without you
May the earth not kiss your steps

May your constant gaze fade away
The precise word, the perfect smile
May something happen soon to erase you
A blinding light, a shot of snow.
May at least death take me
So that I won’t see you so often, so that I won’t see you always
In every second, in every vision
May I not be able to touch you, even in song

May the dawn not bring the shouts that fall down my back
May your name be forgotten by that voice
May the walls not hold the sound of your exhausted journey
May the desire follow you
To your decrepit government of death and flowers

May your constant gaze fade away
The precise word, the perfect smile
May something happen soon to erase you
A blinding light, a shot of snow.
May at least death take me
So that I won’t see you so often, so that I won’t see you always
In every second, in every vision
May I not be able to touch you, even in song

May something happen soon to erase you
A blinding light, a shot of snow.
May at least death take me
So that I won’t see you so often, so that I won’t see you always
In every second, in every vision
May I not be able to touch you, even in song
(source: to be fluent)





(Silvio Rodríguez)

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Julia de Burgos, Yo misma fui mi ruta

Julia de Burgos
(fuente: Descontexto)
no infringement intended



Yo quise ser como los hombres quisieron que yo fuese:
un intento de vida;
un juego al escondite con mi ser.
Pero yo estaba hecha de presentes,
y mis pies planos sobre la tierra promisoria
no resistían caminar hacia atrás,
y seguían adelante, adelante,
burlando las cenizas para alcanzar el beso
de los senderos nuevos.
A cada paso adelantado en mi ruta hacia el frente
rasgaba mis espaldas el aleteo desesperado
de los troncos viejos.
Pero la rama estaba desprendida para siempre,
y a cada nuevo azote la mirada mía
se separaba más y más y más de los lejanos
horizontes aprendidos:
y mi rostro iba tomando la expresión que le venía de adentro,
la expresión definida que asomaba un sentimiento
de liberación íntima;
un sentimiento que surgía
del equilibrio sostenido entre mi vida
y la verdad del beso de los senderos nuevos.
Ya definido mi rumbo en el presente,
me sentí brote de todos los suelos de la tierra,
de los suelos sin historia,
de los suelos sin porvenir,
del suelo siempre suelo sin orillas
de todos los hombres y de todas las épocas.
Y fui toda en mí como fue en mí la vida…
Yo quise ser como los hombres quisieron que yo fuese:
un intento de vida;
un juego al escondite con mi ser.
Pero yo estaba hecha de presentes;
cuando ya los heraldos me anunciaban
en el regio desfile de los troncos viejos,
se me torció el deseo de seguir a los hombres,
y el homenaje se quedó esperándome.
(fuente: Descontexto)






I wanted to be like men wanted me to be:
an attempt at life;
a game of hide and seek with my being.
But I was made of nows,
and my feet level on the promissory earth
would not accept walking backwards
and went forward, forward,
mocking the ashes to reach the kiss
of new paths.

At each advancing step on my route forward
my back was ripped by the desperate flapping wings
of the old guard.

But the branch was unpinned forever,
and at each new whiplash my look
separated more and more and more from the distant
familiar horizons;
and my face took the expansion that came from within,
the defined expression that hinted at a feeling
of intimate liberation;
a feeling that surged
from the balance between my life
and the truth of the kiss of the new paths.

Already my course now set in the present,
I felt myself a blossom of all the soils of the earth,
of the soils without history,
of the soils without a future,
of the soil always soil without edges
of all the men and all the epochs.
And I was all in me as was life in me .. . .

I wanted to be like men wanted me to be:
an attempt at life;
a game of hide and seek with my being.
But I was made of nows;
when the heralds announced me
at the regal parade of the old guard,
the desire to follow men warped in me,
and the homage was left waiting for me.
(source: Anthony Morales)






(Julia de Burgos)

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Ladino

Subjects of the Ottoman Empire
a Muslim and a Jewish woman alongside one from Perlèpè
photographed in Thessaloniki, 1873
(source: An Ancient Melancholy)
no copyright infringement intended

Judaeo-Spanish or Judeo-Spanish (judeo-español, Hebrew script: גֿודֿיאו-איספאנייול‎, Cyrillic: Ђудео-Еспањол), commonly referred to as Ladino, is a Romance language derived from Old Spanish. Originally spoken in the former territories of the Ottoman Empire (the Balkans, Turkey, the Middle East, and North Africa) as well as in France, Italy, the Netherlands, Morocco, and the United Kingdom, today it is spoken mainly by Sephardic minorities in more than 30 countries, most of the speakers residing in Israel.
(info source: wiki)









(La Española - or Hispaniola)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Silvio Rodríguez, Mi unicornio azul

(fuente: Radio Saudade)
no copyright infringement intended

Mi unicornio azul 
ayer se me perdió,
pastando lo dejé 
y desapareció.
Cualquier información 
bien la voy a pagar
(las flores que dejó
no me han querido hablar).

Mi unicornio azul
ayer se me perdió,
no sé si se me fue,
no sé si extravió;
y yo no tengo más
que un unicornio azul,
si alguien sabe de él,
le ruego información:
Cien mil o un millón
yo pagaré.

Mi unicornio azul
se me ha perdido ayer,
se fue...

Mi unicornio y yo
hicimos amistad,
un poco con amor,
un poco con verdad.
Con su cuerno de añil
pescaba una canción:
Saberla compartir
era su vocación.

Mi unicornio azul
ayer se me perdió
y puede parecer
acaso una obsesión,
pero no tengo más
que un unicornio azul
(y aunque tuviera dos
yo solo quiero aquel):
Cualquier información
la pagaré.

Mi unicornio azul
se me ha perdido ayer,
se fue...
(fuente: Radio Saudade)



...Silvio Rodríguez contó en una entrevista de uno de sus gran amigos, Roque Dalton, un poeta y guerrillero salvadoreño que murió durante la guerra civil de ese país. El genio poético y el credo revolucionario de Roque estaban juntos, naciendo a veces símbolos inesperados, como este unicornio azul. Parece que Silvio Rodríguez escribió esta canción en la memoria de Roque Dalton.
(fuente: Radio Saudade)





...a los cubanos les gusta hacer bromas, así que  también es una historia apócrifa sobre el nacimiento de esta canción. Una vez un ladrón entró en la casa del artista y le robó de sus vaqueros azules. Si no es verdadero, al menos está bien dicho...


Hier, j'ai perdu ma licorne bleue
Je l'aie laissée paître et elle a disparu
Je paierai bien
N'importe quelle information
Les fleurs qu'elle a laissées
N'ont pas souhaité me parler

Hier, j'ai perdu ma licorne bleue
Je ne sais pas si elle m'a quitté
Ou si elle s'est égarée
Et je n'ai rien d'autre
Qu'une licorne bleue
Si quelqu'un sait quelque chose
Je vous prie de me le dire
Je paierai
Cent milles ou un million

Ma licorne bleue
Je l'ai perdue hier
Elle est partie

Ma licorne et moi nous sommes liés d'amitié
Avec un peu d'amour et un peu de vérité
Avec sa corne indigo, elle pêchait une chanson
C'était sa vocation
De savoir la partager

Hier, j'ai perdu ma licorne bleue
Et ça peut peut-être sembler une obsession
Mais je n'ai rien d'autre
Qu'une licorne bleue
Et même si j'en avais deux
Je ne veux que celle-là
Je paierai n'importe quelle information

Ma licorne bleue
Je l'ai perdue hier
Elle est partie…
(source: lyricstranslate)


...enfin, cette licorne avec sa corne bleue indigo, pêchait des chansons et avait pour vocation de les partager.. alors cette Licorne n'est-elle pas la mystérieuse et impalpable imagination du poète, sa muse?
(source: espagnol facile)



(source: wikimedia)
no copyright infringement intended





(Silvio Rodríguez)

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Silvio Rodríguez Domínguez de la Trova

cantando en la Plaza de Mayo
Buenos Aires, 25 de mayo de 2004
foto oficial, Presidencia de la Nación Argentina
(fuente: wikimedia)
no copyright infringement intended

cantautor cubano, lider de la Nueva Trova, con más de cuatro décadas de carrera musical, autor de al menos quinientas cuarenta y ocho canciones, con una veintena de álbumes, considerado junto a Ernesto Lecuona como el mejor compositor cubano del siglo, uno de los cantautores de mayor trascendencia internacional de habla hispana, este es en un poquito de palabras el retrato de Silvio Rodríguez Domínguez; le escuché algunas veces algunas de sus canciones a Radio Saudade, ¡toda una experiencia!








(Una Vida Entre Libros)

(Les Troubadours du Temps Jadis)

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Monday, January 08, 2018

Céline et son monde

Céline, dans une photo de 1932
Agence de presse Meurisse
(source: Bibliothèque nationale de France)
no copyright infringement intended

Ce qui m'intéresse chez lui, c'est surtout l'usage très judicieux, efficace qu'il fait de cette langue entièrement artificielle – entièrement littéraire – qu'il a tirée de la langue parlée. Langue constamment en mouvement, parce que sa syntaxe implique un perpétuel porte à faux, qu'il utilise comme une "lancée", comme une incitation presque mécanique au lyrisme (une fois embarqué dans sa phrase, il lui faut accélérer coûte que coûte comme un cycliste). Il s'est forgé un instrument qui par nature ne pouvait pas être maîtrisé : il ne pouvait que s'y livrer – comme d'autres se risquent à la drogue (Julien Gracq, Arts n° 13, 22-28 décembre 1965)

Un des plus importants écrivains francais du vingtième siècle, apportant dans ses romans des novations de la langue tout-a-fait inattendues. Et son monde a soi. Le monde de ses livres, de ses mots et phrases. Le monde de ses convictions politiques. L'auteur du Voyage au bout de la nuit écrivit aussi Bagatelles pour un masacre. D'une part l'ouvreur des sentiers fertiles en literature, d'autre part l'antisémite tous-azimuts, avec armes et bagages dans le camp Nazi. Parmi ses camarades de route Drieu la Rochelle, Benoist-Méchin, Gen Paul, tous invités de temps à autre chez l'ambassadeur allemand Otto Abetz; plus tard son avocat serait rien autre que Me Tixier-Vignancour.

Son monde est un tout entier. On ne peut pas ignorer un aspect pour en illustrer mieux l'autre. Mais peut-on expliquer un aspect par l'autre? Dificile de repondre. Quand-même on doit en penser.

Il y a dans Céline un homme qui s'est mis en marche derrière son clairon. J'ai le sentiment que ses dons exceptionnels de vociférateur, auxquels il était incapable de résister, l'entraîneraient inflexiblement vers les thèmes à haute teneur de risque, les thèmes paniques, obsidionaux, frénétiques, parmi lesquels l'antisémitisme, électivement, était fait pour l'aspirer. Le drame que peuvent faire naître chez un artiste les exigences de l'instrument qu'il a reçu en don, exigences qui sont –parfois à demi monstrueuses- avant tout celles de son plein emploi, a dû se jouer ici dans toute son ampleur. Quiconque a reçu en cadeau, pour son malheur, la flûte du preneur de rats, on l'empêchera difficilement de mener les enfants à la rivière (Julien Gracq, Arts n° 13, 22-28 décembre 1965)

En même temps son universe intérieur doit être mis en relation avec le monde extérieur dans lequel il a vécu. Le monde des livres qu'il a écrit, des livres qu'il a lu. Le monde de ses amitiés. Ses mentors et ses admirateurs.  Son milieu littéraire, son milieu politique. Après tout, le contexte de son temps. Peut-être sa veuve avait quelque raison quand elle disait, en 2001 que ces pamphlets existaient dans un contexte historique spécifique (Céline secret). Le contexte n'excuse pas, mais il apporte des explications et des nuances qui sont nécessaires. Parce que les choses doivent être comprises en profondeur. Le bien aussi que le mal. Tous les deux font partie de la même histoire. L'histoire d'un homme, l'histoire de son pays. Et la mémoire doit en garder tout, le portrait dans son intégralité.






(Le Parnasse des Lettres)

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Boris Lavrenev

Борис Андреевич Лавренёв
(1891-1959)
(source: wikimedia)
no copyright infringement intended


Boris Lavrenev started as a Futurist poet, in 1911; it was the epoch when young artists were looking courageously for new ways of expression, for unexpected joins of words, trying to bravely reconstruct the language, even from the alphabet and the syllables; Lavrenev was in this; then started the world war; he fought in it, then in the Civil War in the Red Army, as a commander of an armored train on the front in Turkmenistan; no wonder that his literary preoccupations changed their focus; in 1924 he began to publish prose; his short stories have a fine quality of nuancing his Bolshevist credo with a subtle understating of the paradox and the unexpected that come as life is unfolding; the view of a man who fought in the war, saw there a lot of stuff and understood that there was always something going far from the black and white.





(Жизнь в Kнигах)

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