Old-school publisher, avant-garde dandy, undisputed expert on the global history of Dada: Raphaëlle Milone paints an intimate but unsparing portrait of a man who belonged perhaps to a dying breed but is still remembered vividly.
The ironic self-awareness of the poet can only be that of his own inauthenticity, repeated or fed back into itself at increasingly conscious levels, and ‘to know inauthenticity is not the same as to be authentic’.
The question of authenticity and I go back some way; we’re old sparring partners – frenemies. It’s been a fraught relationship, shot through with paradox and misconstruing. My first novel, Remainder, does turn around its protagonist’s obsession with becoming ‘real’, inhabiting his era or his city, building, skin, movements and gestures in a ‘first-hand’ or ‘authentic’ way, an obsession which he carries to the point of murder. Yet the pleasure of seeing this book receiving glowing press reviews that praised it for its ‘originality’ and ‘true’-ness was tinged with an awareness of something being odd or ‘off’, since Remainder is in fact the most un-original of novels, a novel about non-originality and simulacra that’s quite blatantly composed of set tropes and constructed situations reprised and, only slightly modified, replayed from sources ranging from Ballard’s Crash and Beckett’s Godot back to Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (Uncle Toby’s domestic re-stagings of battle terrains)...
Rue Ordener, Rue Labat
Ξένος extraneus του έξω όχι του μέσα (intraneus) όχι της οικίας unheimlich όχι του heim όχι της εστίας της άλλης πλευράς της πόρτας – fores, foreigner όχι υπερβολικά στον ρυθμό, odd όχι κανονικός όχι συνήθης σπάνιος ιδιάζων seltsam παράξενος besherat γενναίος κομψός απρόβλεπτος στραβός verschroben
λοξός αναπάντεχος εξαιρετικός εκπληκτικός
Είναι εκπληκτικό πόσες λέξεις εκφράσεις τρόπους διαφορετικούς έχουμε για να μιλήσουμε για τον παράξενο ξένο τον ausländer τον έξω από τη χώρα και όχι «pays avec nous» όπως λέγαμε κάποτε στη Γαλλία «c’est un pays à moi» για να πούμε κάποιος από το χωριό μου τη γειτονιά μου την περιοχή μου την πατρίδα μου
In the post-avant-garde era we’re all either in the vanguard or asleep in the lap of capital. In this sense everybody
is avant-garde—or nobody.
In the late nineteenth century Alfred Jarry created a prototype of the modern wannabe in his pot-bellied Père Ubu, a figure that raises entitlement to a high art. Ubu doesn’t want to be king; others urge him to it. But he is also the others. And when he does become king, CEO, or US president, he doesn’t know what it means, or if it means anything at all. He just states his claim. And so he shimmies from statement to power. And having obtained power, Ubu decerebrates the world, exposing the grounds for groundlessness, to paraphrase Ortega y Gasset. Ubu is a tautomaniac, that is, he can be explained in his own terms and is thus always in the right (being in the right is all he is). He needs no proof, but on the contrary wants “to turn the absurd into the highest power of thought” (Deleuze & Guattari)....