October 29, 2008

Paul Eluard, Le livre ouvert: 1938-1944 (Gallimard, 1947;repr. 1977).

In between student conferences last week, I pulled out Eluard's Le livre ouvert and began thumbing through it. It's one of the few books I have had through successive moves over the years. In fact, I am fairly certain I bought this as an undergrad (Jackson Street Books in Athens GA most likely). The thing I found amazing this time skimming through it was the marginalia of a younger me. The passages that I found interesting (or useful) at the time are definitely not what I find interesting in the book now. For example, the stanza from "Blason des arbres" that I have checked for future reference:

Bouche folle ou sage
It te faut parler
Bouche ouverte ou close
It te faut rever
Plus haut que ton souffle (119)

This seems a rather obvious bit of poesie now, especially in relationship to some of the other passages I now find much more interesting in this book, but in my late teens, it was apparently telling me something. It is kind of a nice reintroduction to the person I was circa 1990: Mr. Horton meet Mr. Horton.


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