There follows an ironic tribute to the poet's erudition: 'M. Apollinaire ne manque pas d'erudition; on a constamment 1'impression qu'il dit tout ce qu'il sait' but Duhamel judges this to lead to failure, to the 'image manquee'. Apollinaire fut illettre et qu'il ecrivit plus souvent selon son cceur' again shocked the poet whose belief in the truth of poetry.
The review so infuriated him that his first instinct was to seek satisfaction by duel but the situation was smoothed over by the intervention of friends. The title Alcools was a late choice, being preferred to the original Eau-de-vie which was included in a portrait of Apollinaire executed by the Polish artist Marcoussis in mid-igia. Both words occur at the end of 'Zone': Et tu bois cct alcool brulant comme ta vie Ta vie que tu bois comme cette eau-de-vie. Alcools, Club du meilleur livre, , pp. The harmonics of the word alcools with its hints at joy and subsequent sadness, pleasure and danger, of distillation in the magic process of fire and water, convey well the excitements and contradictions of the poems.
The volume contains fifty poems of which forty-three had already appeared in different literary reviews, six 'La Blanche Neige', 'Un Soir', '', 'A la Sante', 'Automne malade' and 'Hotels' were printed in the volume for the first tirne and one 'Chantre' was added on the proofs. As indicated by the title, the date of composition of the poems lies between and The poems are not, however, printed in chronological order. A few of the poems are dated by Apollinaire but the problems of dating the remainder are very considerable. The pioneer work of LeRoy C. Decaudin's Le Dossier d' 'Alcools' are indispensable tools for any examination of this complex issue.
Apollinaire wrote quickly, often leaving lines and poems unfinished. They were set aside and fragments incorporated into poems composed at a much later date; examples are quoted in notes to individual poems. Mme M. Durry has described the technique as that of a 'mosaiiste' or 'marqueteur' and Breunig has used the word 'collage'.
Nor are existing manuscripts always authoritative evidence for Apollinaire sometimes wrote on headed notepaper acquired years earlier. Because the order of the poems is not chronological there has been much speculation on why any particular poem should occupy the place it does. Since the publication of Les Fleurs du mal and Baudelaire's confession to Alfred de Vigny sent with a copy of the second edition 'Le seul eloge que je sollicite pour ce livre est qu'on reconnaisse qu'ii n'est pas un pur album et qu'il a un commencement et une fin' , it has become irresistibly tempting to try to discover in any collection of poems a secret order of presentation in which a poem gains added significance from its place, its meaning being influenced by what has gone before and by what is to follow.
There is no such evidence to be found in the arrangement of Alcools nor did Apollinaire admit of any such underlying intention. The volume opens and closes with a long poem. In the first poem, the poet's geographical wanderings mirror the frantic movements of his mind in his search for explanation and justification, ending in the hopeless light of another despairing dawn; in 'Vendemiaire', it is the world and its cities which come to him, to pay homage to the poet, centre of the universe.
Here the dawn has all the trappings of joyful promise. Scott Bates has argued that Apolliri-. There is no grouping by subject; long poems are separated by short poems. The denial of any facile autobiographical chronology allows the poet to cover his tracks and to diminish the element of direct confession.
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The variety of styles from the earliest to the later poems confers on the book a greater impression of originality. Typography, too, has a role to play for Apollinaire had a keen eye for lay-out. It is clear that he is a 'natural' poet to whom the act of writing in verse is easier, he confessed, than writing in prose.
Even in the trenches, the flow of verse went on uninterrupted, quickened indeed by the new excitements.
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The Pleiade edition of his poetic works comes to over pages. Andre Salmon said of him: Tl etait toujours en train d'ecrire quelque chose tire de lui par 1'exterieur ou 1'interieur' cit. Durry, 'Alcools', i, p. It is the practice of poetry that interested Apollinaire for he is not one of the great poetcritics in the tradition of Baudelaire, Mallarme and Valery. Indeed, Andre Breton described him, with justification, as a 'mediocre estheticien'. Apollinaire's life was too disjointed, too busy to foster mature reflection; much of his critical work was written for those weeklies and monthlies in which he had a regular column.
Paul Adam is judged to be one of the 'grands ecrivains de son epoque'. This may be because Apollinaire is essentially a critic of encouragement for whom positive affirmation is more important than destruction. He shows a marked preference for the new and the modern, but as he gained experience, there are startling flashes of perception. Above all, he is the master of the revealing anecdote. Curiously enough, his aesthetic meditations are hinged more to the body of his art criticism than to the literary chroniques.
The lecture on 'L'Esprit nouveau et les. It is clear that Apollinaire's verse is above all lyrical in that it is based on his own emotional experiences, that it is a confession however veiled and that it is poles apart from, for example, the cooler intellectualised verse of Paul Valery, his near contemporary. His statement already quoted that 'chacun de mes poemes est la commemoration d'un evenement de ma vie' admits the personal element which lies behind his work, but is, in some respects, misleading.
Apollinaire's reticence guards his ultimate privacy and, at a moment when the poem seems to be on the edge of the last confession, the emotional temperature is abruptly lowered.http://airtec.gr/images/rastrear-telefono/2047-youtube-como.php
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He denies the traditional closed circle of lyrical obsession man, emotion, natureby the violent, unexpected intrusions of the external world at the critical moment. In 'Les Colchiques', a Baudelairian correspondance is established in the first stanza ending: Le colchique coulcur dc cerne ct de lilas Y fleurit tes yeux sont comme cette fleur-la Violatres comme leur cerne et comme cet automne Et ma vie pour tes yeux lentement s'empoisonne.
There are many examples of such deflations of what is traditionally a private introspection: in 'Marie', soldiers pass through a grey and white landscape of grief; in 'Mai', a whole gallery of strangers crosses the scene, leading their own mysterious lives, present and yet apart: Sur le chemin du bord du fleuve lentement Un ours un singe un chien menes par des tziganes Suivaient une roulotte trainee par un ane Tandis que s'eloignait dans les vignes rhenanes Sur un fifre lointain un air de regiment.
The procedure is too common for it to be explained by the chance of composition of one or two poems. The same effect in defusing.
In 'La Chanson du mal-aime' a harrowing passage of regret on the theme: O mon ombre en dcuil de moi-meme 1. The same effect is achieved on a much larger scale by the obscene tone of the intermede, 'Reponse des Cosaques Zaporogues au Sultan de Constantinople' in the same poem. It is one of the many paradoxes of Apollinaire that he should welcome the sufferings imposed on him by life and, in particular, by love. He wrote rather naively to Lou on 11 April 'Je ne deteste pas que 1'Amour me fasse parfois souffrir.
C'est la une source intarissable de poesie. II est vrai qu'il faut que la souffrance ne dure pas trop long temps' Lettres a Lou, p.
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It is not of course only the emotion of love which lies at the heart of Apollinaire's lyricism. In he wrote to Toussaint Luca, an old school-friend: 'Je ne cherche qu'un lyrisme neuf et humaniste en meme temps' O. A man of his age, he discovered around him ample material for reflection and yet he never ignored the sweep of history, legend and myth. The curiously disparate allusions which decorate his poems are drawn from a vast range and yet he was not an erudite man in any disciplined sense.
His knowledge has been gathered from his omnivorous but undirected reading and a truly remarkable memory permitted him to exhume rare facts which he used to illuminate his ideas. The paradox of the 'modern' poet who calls upon the past is another of the bewildering sides of his work. His devise d'editeur invented for the first edition of Le Bestiaire was 'J'emerveille'; Apollinaire's great gift was to be able to stand in wonder before the past as well as the present. His erudition allowed him another mode of disguise and also conferred a certain universality on the experiences of one man.
It was for Apollinaire a manifestation of. Writing on anecdotes featuring Gerard de Nerval reprinted in Les Marges in , Apollinaire repeated a conversation in which Nerval had referred to a number of obscure thinkers and commented: Esprit charmant! Je 1'eusse aime comme un frere. Et qu'on ne s'y trompe point, une telle conversation n'indique pas ce qu'il est convenu aujourd'hui d'appeler de Perudition et qui n'en est point; c'etait tout simplement 1'indice d'une imagination ardente qu'il essayait de mettre a la portee de son interlocuteur en choisissant parmi les notions que tout le monde peut avoir acquises, les plus rares.
It is in this sense that he sought for a 'lyrisme humaniste'. One of the constants in Apollinaire's poetry is the creative tension described in the well-known lines of 'La Jolie Rousse' Calligrammes]: Je juge cette longue querelle de la tradition et de 1'invention De 1'Ordre et de 1'Aventure. Tradition and ordre represent for Apollinaire the heritage of a long poetic tradition whilst invention and aventure are the aesthetic response to the challenge of contemporary life, both in ideas and in technique.
It is a measure of the strength of his belief in the relevance of the past that he, acknowledged leader of the young generation of avant-garde writers, should, in , begin his lecture on L'Esprit nouveau et les poetes in this way: L'esprit nouveau qui s'annonce pretend avant tout heriter des classiques un solide bon sens, un esprit critique assure, des vues d'ensemble sur 1'univers et dans 1'ame humaine, et le sens du devoir qui depouille les sentiments et en limite ou plutot en contient les manifestations.
II pretend encore heriter des romantiques une curiosite qui le pousse a explorer tous les domaines propres a fournir une matiere litteraire qui permette d'exalter la vie sous quelque forme qu'elle se presente. His admiration for Villon, Malherbe, Maynard and Racine is unaffected; he is able to describe La Fontaine as 'le parangon des poetes fran9ais'. The lyrical mode encourages a certain backward look and he wrote wryly: 'Les poetes personnels rappellent parfois d'autres poetes'. This admiration for the past is in no way a sterile imitation; it holds in a creative equilibrium his urge to experiment and so, by checks and balances, shapes that part of his poetry which seeks new forms of expressions.
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