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Lost Profiles : Memoirs of Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism (Paperback) (Philippe Soupault)
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Poet Alan Bernheimer provides a long overdue English translation of this French literary classic?Lost Profiles is a retrospective of a crucial period in modernism, written by co-founder of the surrealist movement. Opening with a reminiscence of the international Dada movement in the late 1910s and its transformation into the beginnings of surrealism, Lost Profiles then proceeds to usher its readers into encounters with a variety of literary lions. We meet an elegant Marcel Proust, renting five adjoining rooms at an expensive hotel to "contain" the silence needed to produce Remembrance of Things Past; an exhausted James Joyce putting himself through grueling translation sessions for Ulysses; and an enigmatic Apollinaire in search of the ultimate objet trouvé. Soupault sketches lively portraits of surrealist precursors like Pierre Reverdy and Blaise Cendrars, a moving account of his tragic fellow surrealist René Crevel, and the story of his unlikely friendship with right-wing anti-Vichy critic George Bernanos. The collection ends with essays on two modernist forerunners, Charles Baudelaire and Henri Rousseau. With an afterword by Ron Padgett recounting his meeting with Soupault in the late '60s and a preface by Breton biographer Mark Polizzoti, Lost Profiles confirms Soupault's place in the vanguard of twentieth-century literature.
"Poets must encourage each other because time is indifferent to the lives that flow through it. Time is what we are made of, but we are a rare school of fish that can see, in Rimbaud's sense, the substance that everyone disregards even as it dissolves them. We have to be young because we are the only force that can slow time down to reveal the beauty of its devastation. Reading Alan Bernheimer's splendid translation of Soupault's memoir, I forgot that it was a translation, that it was Soupault writing or talking about another time, about his friends of one century past. I read myself into these vivid and virile (so, sue me!) assaults on time, and Time stopped."?Andrei Condrescu
"Philippe Soupault was present at the creation of both Dada and Surrealism?collaborating with André Breton to produce The Magnetic Fields, the first book of automatic writing?before going his own way as a poet, novelist, and journalist. In this present volume, Soupault's fierce independence, deep wit, and generous heart shine through a set of sharply observed portraits of European writers?fellow geniuses, most of them known to him personally. Alan Bernheimer's fine translation allows Soupault's vibrant voice to come to life in our time, and to reanimate in turn some of the greatest spirits of the past century's literature?a marvelous and much-needed apparition."?Andrew Joron
Philippe Soupault (1897-1990) served in the French army during WWI and subsequently joined the Dada movement. In 1919, he collaborated with André Breton on the a