Comte de Lautréamont
Comte de Lautréamont was the nom de plume of Isidore Lucien Ducasse, a French poet born in Uruguay. His only works, Les Chants de Maldoror and Poésies, had a major influence on modern arts and literature on the Surrealists and the Situationists. Ducasse died at the age of 24. Ducasse was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, to François Ducasse, a French consular officer, his wife Jacquette-Célestine Davezac. Little is known about Isidore's childhood, except that he was baptized on 16 November 1847 in the Montevideo Metropolitan Cathedral and that his mother died soon afterwards due to an epidemic. In 1851, as a five-year-old, he experienced the end of the eight-year Siege of Montevideo in the Argentine-Uruguayan War, he was brought up to speak three languages: French and English. In October 1859, at the age of thirteen, he was sent to high school in France by his father, he was trained in French technology at the Imperial Lycée in Tarbes. In 1863 he enrolled in the Lycée Louis Barthou in Pau, where he attended classes in rhetoric and philosophy.
He showed extravagance in his thinking and style. Isidore was a reader of Edgar Allan Poe and favored Percy Bysshe Shelley and Byron, as well as Adam Mickiewicz, Robert Southey, Alfred de Musset and Baudelaire. During school he was fascinated by Racine and Corneille, by the scene of the blinding in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex. According to his schoolmate Paul Lespès, he displayed obvious folly "by self-indulgent use of adjectives and an accumulation of terrible death images" in an essay. After graduation he lived in Tarbes, where he started a friendship with Georges Dazet, the son of his guardian, decided to become a writer. After a brief stay with his father in Montevideo, Ducasse settled in Paris at the end of 1867, he began studies at the École Polytechnique. Continuous allowances from his father made it possible for Ducasse to dedicate himself to his writing, he lived in the "Intellectual Quarter", in a hotel in the Rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, where he worked intensely on the first canto of Les Chants de Maldoror.
It is possible that he started this work before his passage to Montevideo, continued the work during his ocean journey. Ducasse was a frequent visitor to nearby libraries, where he read Romantic literature, as well as scientific works and encyclopaedias; the publisher Léon Genonceaux described him as a "large, young man, mercurial and industrious", reported that Ducasse wrote "only at night, sitting at his piano, declaiming wildly while striking the keys, hammering out new verses to the sounds". However, this account has no corroborating evidence, is considered unreliable. In late 1868, Ducasse published the first canto of Les Chants de Maldoror, a booklet of thirty-two pages. On 10 November 1868, Ducasse sent a letter to the writer Victor Hugo, in which he included two copies of the first canto, asked for a recommendation for further publication. A new edition of the first canto appeared at the end of January 1869, in the anthology Parfums de l'Âme in Bordeaux. Here Ducasse used his pseudonym Comte de Lautréamont for the first time.
His chosen name was based on the character of Latréaumont from a popular 1837 French gothic novel by Eugène Sue, which featured a haughty and blasphemous anti-hero similar in some ways to Isidore's Maldoror. The title was most paraphrasing l'autre à Mont, although it can be interpreted as l'autre Amon or "l'autre Amont". A total of six cantos were to be published during late 1869, by Albert Lacroix in Brussels, who had published Eugène Sue; the book was printed when Lacroix refused to distribute it to the booksellers as he feared prosecution for blasphemy or obscenity. Ducasse considered that this was because "life in it is painted in too harsh colors". Ducasse urgently asked Auguste Poulet-Malassis, who had published Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal in 1857, to send copies of his book to the critics, they alone could judge "the commence of a publication which will see its end only and after I will have seen mine". He tried to explain his position, offered to change some "too strong" points for coming editions: I have written of evil as Mickiewicz, Milton, Southey, A. de Musset and others have all done.
I drew register a little exaggerated, in order to create something new in the sense of a sublime literature that sings of despair only in order to oppress the reader, make him desire the good as the remedy. Thus it is always, after all, the good, the subject, only the method is more philosophical and less naive than that of the old school. Is that the evil? No not. Poulet-Malassis announced the forthcoming publication of the book the same month in his literary magazine Quarterly Review of Publications Banned in France and Printed Abroad. Otherwise, few people took heed of the book. Only the Bulletin du Bibliophile et du Bibliothécaire noticed it in May 1870, saying: "The book will find a place under the bibliographic curiosities". During spring 1869, Ducasse changed his address, from Rue du Faubourg Montmartre 32 to Rue Vivienne 15 back to Rue Faubourg Montmartre, where he lodged in a hotel at number 7. While still awaiting the distribution of his book, Ducasse worked on a new text, a follow-up to his "phenomenological description of evil", in which he wanted to sing of good
Système universitaire de documentation
The système universitaire de documentation or SUDOC is a system used by the libraries of French universities and higher education establishments to identify and manage the documents in their possession. The catalog, which contains more than 10 million references, allows students and researcher to search for bibliographical and location information in over 3,400 documentation centers, it is maintained by the Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education. Official website
Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company
The Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company was established in Chicago, Illinois in 1886 as Charles H. Kerr & Co. by Charles Hope Kerr to promote his Unitarian views. As Kerr's personal interests moved from religion to populism to Marxism and he became interested in the labor movement, the company's publications took a similar turn. During the 1920s Kerr ceded control of the firm to the Proletarian Party of America, which continued the imprint as its official publishing house throughout its four decades of organized existence. Control moved again during the decade of the 1960s, this time to a circle of Chicago radicals with close affinity to the ideas of the Industrial Workers of the World, who gave the company its current operating moniker; the Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company remains in operation in the second decade of the 21st century, making it the oldest radical book publisher in America; the Charles H Kerr Publishing Company continues to publish books, its most recent is Make Love, Not War: Surrealism 1968! with essays by Penelope Rosemont, Don LaCoss and Michael Lowy.
In March 1878 a magazine called Unity had been launched by liberal supporter of the Western Unitarian Conference. The wing of the Unitarian movement represented by the new semi-monthly magazine argued that personal character rather than literal belief in a body of written dogma marked the true "test and essence of religion." These so-called "Unity Men" sought wider acceptance among Unitarians for this fundamental idea of the primacy of ethics over belief — a matter of no little controversy among the more conservative church mainstream of the day. A monthly magazine called Unitarian was established in January 1886 in an attempt to combat the ideas of the "Unity men" — who were seen as undermining Christianity in favor of what was characterized as a new "Ethical Culture."As the controversy between the dissident "ethical" Unitarians and the more conservative "doctrinal" church mainstream heated up, the former felt the need for centralized and expeditious publication of books and other materials reflecting their views.
The Georgia-born Charles Hope Kerr, a young man born in 1860 who had joined the staff at Unity magazine in the middle 1880s, obliged by establishing in Chicago in 1886 a publishing house for the "Unity men" called "Charles H. Kerr & Co." The Unity men aspired to promote a sound relationship between the emerging evolutionary science of the day and enlightened religious belief — or, as Kerr himself put it, "a religion, rational and a rationalism, religious."The flagship of the fledgling Kerr & Co. was production of the magazine Unity itself although a literary journal called The University was briefly issued before being subsumed. In addition to books and magazines, the early Charles H. Kerr & Co. produced an array of pamphlets and hymnals for use of a network of "Unity Clubs" established around the country. Topics explored included comparative religion, advanced biblical criticism, evolutionary science, history. In addition to Unitarian-related material, Kerr issued a number of volumes of poetry and literature.
The company maintained this orientation for 7 years before making a turn to more temporal themes of economics and sociology. Charles H. Kerr & Co. was first incorporated in 1893, with 1,000 shares of stock authorized with a par value of $10 per share, representing a total market capitalization of $10,000. That same year marked a change in the firm's direction away from religious themes and towards hard politics; the company began the publication of a new monthly magazine titled New Occasions before a name change was made in July 1897 to The New Time. The "semi-socialist" publication attained a circulation of over 30,000 before being spun off as an independent commercial entity under the direction of editor Frederick Upham Adams. Adams ran into financial difficulties shortly after taking over the magazine and the publication was soon terminated and its subscription list sold to The Arena, a monthly edited by B. O. Flower. Kerr & Co. were influenced by the growth of the People's Party during the 1890s and issued a wide array of titles on such prominent populist themes as monetary reform, railroad regulation, government control of the banking industry, related matters.
Although some of these titles skirted the edge of socialism, it was not until the spring of 1899 that a decisive turn was made to the international socialism espoused by Karl Marx. A close association was established between the Kerr and Co. and a new Chicago socialist weekly newspaper edited by A. M. Simons, The Workers Call. In January 1900 Simons was brought on board Kerr & Co. as a vice president with a view to launching a new magazine. This would be the International Socialist Review, a publication which would emerge as among the most important American socialist periodicals during the first two decades of the 20th Century; the publication launched with 800 subscribers and by the end of its first year had more than quadrupled this total. With additional individual issues sold in bulk an increased press run of 10,000 copies was predicted by Kerr early in 1901; the firm was funded as a socialist publisher by the sale of stock, with about $500 worth of stock taken by Kerr and a small handful of wealthy benefactors and a somewhat larger amount generated through sale of individual shares at $10 each.
Stockholders were not paid dividends and were offered no promise of increased valuation, but rather were allowed to purchase Kerr publications at a deep discount off cover price. The company's pocket-sized "Pocket Library of Socialism" series of 5 cent pamphlets — each covered in distinctive red cellophane — were priced as cheaply as $6 per 1,000 copies when purchased by stockholders.
National Diet Library
The National Diet Library is the national library of Japan and among the largest libraries in the world. It was established in 1948 for the purpose of assisting members of the National Diet of Japan in researching matters of public policy; the library is similar in scope to the United States Library of Congress. The National Diet Library consists of two main facilities in Tōkyō and Kyōtō, several other branch libraries throughout Japan; the National Diet Library is the successor of three separate libraries: the library of the House of Peers, the library of the House of Representatives, both of which were established at the creation of Japan's Imperial Diet in 1890. The Diet's power in prewar Japan was limited, its need for information was "correspondingly small"; the original Diet libraries "never developed either the collections or the services which might have made them vital adjuncts of genuinely responsible legislative activity". Until Japan's defeat, the executive had controlled all political documents, depriving the people and the Diet of access to vital information.
The U. S. occupation forces under General Douglas MacArthur deemed reform of the Diet library system to be an important part of the democratization of Japan after its defeat in World War II. In 1946, each house of the Diet formed its own National Diet Library Standing Committee. Hani Gorō, a Marxist historian, imprisoned during the war for thought crimes and had been elected to the House of Councillors after the war, spearheaded the reform efforts. Hani envisioned the new body as "both a'citadel of popular sovereignty'", the means of realizing a "peaceful revolution"; the Occupation officers responsible for overseeing library reforms reported that, although the Occupation was a catalyst for change, local initiative pre-existed the Occupation, the successful reforms were due to dedicated Japanese like Hani. The National Diet Library opened in June 1948 in the present-day State Guest-House with an initial collection of 100,000 volumes; the first Librarian of the Diet Library was the politician Tokujirō Kanamori.
The philosopher Masakazu Nakai served as the first Vice Librarian. In 1949, the NDL became the only national library in Japan. At this time the collection gained an additional million volumes housed in the former National Library in Ueno. In 1961, the NDL opened at its present location in Nagatachō, adjacent to the National Diet. In 1986, the NDL's Annex was completed to accommodate a combined total of 12 million books and periodicals; the Kansai-kan, which opened in October 2002 in the Kansai Science City, has a collection of 6 million items. In May 2002, the NDL opened a new branch, the International Library of Children's Literature, in the former building of the Imperial Library in Ueno; this branch contains some 400,000 items of children's literature from around the world. Though the NDL's original mandate was to be a research library for the National Diet, the general public is the largest consumer of the library's services. In the fiscal year ending March 2004, for example, the library reported more than 250,000 reference inquiries.
As Japan's national library, the NDL collects copies of all publications published in Japan. Moreover, because the NDL serves as a research library for Diet members, their staffs, the general public, it maintains an extensive collection of materials published in foreign languages on a wide range of topics; the NDL has eight major specialized collections: Modern Political and Constitutional History. The Modern Political and Constitutional History Collection comprises some 300,000 items related to Japan's political and legal modernization in the 19th century, including the original document archives of important Japanese statesmen from the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century like Itō Hirobumi, Iwakura Tomomi, Sanjō Sanetomi, Mutsu Munemitsu, Terauchi Masatake, other influential figures from the Meiji and Taishō periods; the NDL has an extensive microform collection of some 30 million pages of documents relating to the Occupation of Japan after World War II. This collection include the documents prepared by General Headquarters and the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, the Far Eastern Commission, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey Team.
The Laws and Preliminary Records Collection consists of some 170,000 Japanese and 200,000 foreign-language documents concerning proceedings of the National Diet and the legislatures of some 70 foreign countries, the official gazettes, judicial opinions, international treaties pertaining to some 150 foreign countries. The NDL maintains a collection of some 530,000 books and booklets and 2 million microform titles relating to the sciences; these materials include, among other things, foreign doctoral dissertations in the sciences, the proceedings and reports of academic societies, catalogues of technical standards, etc. The NDL has a collection of 440,000 maps of Japan and other countries, including the topographica
Franklin Rosemont was an American poet, historian, street speaker, co-founder of the Chicago Surrealist Group. Over four decades, Franklin produced a body of work, of declarations, poetry, hidden histories, other interventions intended to inspire a new generation of revolution, became "the most productive scholar of labor and the left in the United States." He was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Henry, a typographer and labor activist, Sally, a jazz musician. He dropped out of high school but was admitted to Roosevelt University in Chicago in 1962, studying under African-American scholar St. Clair Drake, he edited and wrote an introduction for What is Surrealism?: Selected Writings of André Breton, edited Rebel Worker, Arsenal/Surrealist Subversion, The Rise & Fall of the DIL Pickle: Jazz-Age Chicago's Wildest & Most Outrageously Creative Hobohemian Nightspot and Juice Is Stranger Than Friction: Selected Writings of T-Bone Slim. With his wife Penelope Rosemont, hersef the author and editor of several books and active in the Chicago Surrealists, poet and storyteller Paul Garon, he edited The Forecast is Hot!.
His work has been concerned with both the history of surrealism and of the radical labor movement in America, for instance, writing a biography of Joe Hill. According to PoetrySoup.com Franklin Rosemont "became "the most productive scholar of labor and the left in the United States." Rosemont is the author of the poetry collections The Morning of a Machine Gun: Twenty Poems & Documents. Profusely Illustrated By the Author, The Apple of the Automatic Zebra's Eye, Penelope: A Poem, as well as An Open Entrance to the Shut Palace of Wrong Numbers, a book that explores the phenomenon of "wrong numbers" from a surrealist perspective, published by Black Swan Press in 2003, he edited and introduced Hobohemia: Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Ben Reitman & other agitators & outsiders in 1920s/30s Chicago, by Frank O. Beck. Rosemont, Franklin. Joe Hill. Chicago: Charles H. Kerr Publishing Company. ISBN 0-88286-265-0. In 1990 he published a collected edition of short stories by the socialist utopian author Edward Bellamy, titled Apparitions of Things to Come.
He is co-editor, with Archie Green, David Roediger, Salvatore Salerno, of The Big Red Songbook. Franklin Rosemont 1943–2009 This "cyber-tombeau" at Silliman's Blog by poet Ron Silliman includes comments and links Remembering a Wobbly Surrealist an extensive tribute to Rosemont Franklin Rosemont, fellow worker, surrealist poet, great American comprehensive set of links to obituaries on Rosemont found around the web as of April 2009 Franklin and Penelope Rosemont collection of IWW Publications at Newberry Library Franklin Rosemont at Library of Congress Authorities, with 16 catalog records
Alfred Jarry was a French symbolist writer, best known for his play Ubu Roi, a pataphysical work which depicts the bourgeoisie as the super-mediocre. He coined the term and philosophical concept of pataphysics, which uses absurd irony to portray symbolic truths. Jarry was born in Laval, Mayenne and his mother was from Brittany, he was associated with the Symbolist movement. His play Ubu Roi is cited as a forerunner of Dada and the Surrealist and Futurist movements of the 1920s and 1930s, he wrote in a variety of hybrid genres and styles, prefiguring the postmodern, including novels, short plays and opera bouffes, absurdist essays and speculative journalism. His texts are considered examples of absurdist postmodern philosophy, his father Anselme Jarry was a salesman. The couple had two surviving children, a daughter Caroline-Marie, called Charlotte, Alfred. In 1879 Caroline took the children to Saint-Brieuc in Brittany. In 1888 the family moved to Rennes, where Jarry entered the lycée at 15. There he led a group of boys who enjoyed poking fun at their well-meaning, but obese and incompetent physics teacher, a man named Hébert.
Jarry and his classmate, Henri Morin, wrote a play they called Les Polonais and performed it with marionettes in the home of one of their friends. The main character, Père Heb, was a blunderer with a huge belly, three teeth, a single, retractable ear and a misshapen body. In Jarry's work Ubu Roi, Père Heb would develop into Ubu, one of the most monstrous and astonishing characters in French literature. At 17 Jarry passed his baccalauréat and moved to Paris to prepare for admission to the École Normale Supérieure. Though he was not admitted, he soon gained attention for his original prose-poems. A collection of his work, Les minutes de sable mémorial, was published in 1893; that same year, Jarry contracted influenza. His mother and sister tended him. Jarry had meantime discovered the pleasures of alcohol, which he called "my sacred herb" or, when referring to absinthe, the "green goddess." A story is told that he once painted his face green and rode through town on his bicycle in its honour. When he was drafted into the army in 1894, his gift for turning notions upside down defeated attempts to instill military discipline.
The sight of the small man in a uniform much too large for his less than 5-foot frame—the army did not issue uniforms small enough—was so disruptively funny that he was excused from parades and marching drills. The army discharged him for medical reasons, his military experience inspired his novel Days and Nights. Jarry returned to Paris and applied himself to writing and the company of friends who appreciated his witty, sweet-tempered and unpredictable conversation; this period is marked by his intense involvement with Remy de Gourmont in the publication of L'Ymagier, a luxuriously produced "art" magazine devoted to the symbolic analysis of medieval and popular prints. Symbolism as an art movement was in full swing at this time, L'Ymagier provided a nexus for many of its key contributors. Jarry's play; this is a work that bridges the gap between serious symbolic meaning and the type of critical absurdity with which Jarry would soon become associated. Using the biblical Book of Revelation as a point of departure, Caesar Antichrist presents a parallel world of extreme formal symbolism in which Christ is resurrected not as an agent of spirituality but as an agent of the Roman Empire that seeks to dominate spirituality.
It is a unique narrative that links the domination of the soul to contemporaneous advances in the field of Egyptology such as the 1894 excavation of the Narmer Palette, an ancient artifact used for situating the rebus within hermeneutics. The character Ubu Roi first appears in this play; the spring of 1896 saw the publication, in Paul Fort's review Le Livre d'art, of Jarry's 5-act play Ubu Roi, the rewritten and expanded Les Polonais of his school days. Ubu Roi's savage humor and monstrous absurdity, unlike anything thus far performed in French theater, seemed unlikely to actually be performed on stage. However, impetuous theater director Aurélien-Marie Lugné-Poe took the risk, producing the play at his Théâtre de l'Œuvre. On opening night, with traditionalists and the avant-garde in the audience, King Ubu stepped forward and intoned the opening word, "Merdre!". A quarter of an hour of pandemonium ensued: outraged cries and whistling by the offended parties, countered by cheers and applause by the more degenerate contingent.
Such interruptions continued through the evening. At the time, only the dress rehearsal and opening night performance were held, the play was not revived until after Jarry's death; the play brought fame to the 23-year-old Jarry, he immersed himself in the fiction he had created. Gémier had modeled his portrayal of Ubu on Jarry's own staccato, nasal vocal delivery, which emphasized each syllable. From on, Jarry would always speak in this style, he adopted Ubu's pedantic figures of speech.
Arthur Cravan was a Swiss writer, poet and boxer. He was the second son of Hélène Clara St. Clair, his brother Otho Lloyd was a painter and photographer married to the Russian émigré artist Olga Sacharoff. His father's sister, Constance Mary Lloyd, was married to Irish poet Oscar Wilde, he changed his name to Cravan in 1912 in honour of his fiancée Renée Bouchet, born in the small village of Cravans in the department of Charente-Maritime in western France. Cravan was last seen at Salina Cruz, Mexico in 1918 and most drowned in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico in November 1918. Cravan was born and educated in Lausanne, Switzerland at an English military academy from which he was expelled after spanking a teacher. After his schooling, during World War I, he travelled throughout Europe and America using a variety of passports and documents, some of them forged, he declared no single nationality and claimed instead to be "a citizen of 20 countries". Cravan set out to promote himself as an eccentric poet and art critic, but his interest in art and literature was that of the provocateur, typified by his claim in Maintenant that art is “situated more in the guts than in the brain” and that he wanted to'break the face' of the modern art movement.
He staged public spectacles with himself at the centre, once acting on the front of a line of carts where he paraded his skills as a boxer and singer. His proclivity for shock was what endeared him to the New York Dadaist movement, who adopted him as a poster boy after his death despite the fact Cravan never self-identified with the movement. From 1911 to 1915, Cravan published and edited a critical literary magazine, Maintenant! which appeared in five issues and which he notoriously distributed around Paris with a wheelbarrow. It was gathered together and reprinted by Eric Losfeld in 1971 as J'étais Cigare in the Dadaist collection "Le Désordre"; the magazine was designed to cause sensation. His remarks drove Laurencin's lover and influential modernist critic and poet Guillaume Apollinaire into a fury that resulted in a bid for a duel, it is not known whether the duel happened, though Apollinaire was depicted more than once with a sling on his arm around that time. Cravan's rough vibrant poetry and provocative, anarchistic lectures and public appearances earned him the admiration of Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, André Breton, other young artists and intellectuals.
Carolyn Burke notes that Amelia von Ende, writing in The Dial in 1914, argued that Cravan'had not only put the idea of pluralisme into poetic form but invented the term "machinisme," which appropriately characterizes the mechanical and industrial side of our life.” Observed that Cravan’s “machinisme” had not found favour because it was less euphonious than “dynamism,” the critical term in vogue." After the First World War began, Cravan left Paris to avoid being drafted into military service. On a stopover in the Canary Islands a boxing match was arranged in Barcelona between Cravan and the former world champion Jack Johnson to raise money for Cravan's passage to the United States. Posters for the match touted Cravan as "European champion." Johnson, who didn't know who the man was, knocked Cravan out cold after six rounds. In his autobiography, My Life and Battles, Johnson noted. Cravan's pride in being the nephew of Oscar Wilde produced hoax documents and poems which Cravan wrote and signed "Oscar Wilde".
In 1913 he published an article in Maintenant claiming that his uncle was still alive and had visited him in Paris. The New York Times published the rumour though Cravan and Wilde never met. In 1915 Cravan held an exhibition of his paintings at the gallery Bernheim Jeune in Paris under the pseudonym Èdouard Archinard. On January 13th 1916 Cravan arrived into New York on the same ship as Leon Trotsky, Carolyn Burke notes,'just a few weeks before the Kaiser announced the resumption of attacks on steamships.' On the journey Trotsky and Cravan became acquainted and, although Cravan liked Trotsky he felt that “It was useless telling him the result of his revolution would be the founding of a red army to protect the red liberty.” Whilst Cravan's practices may align with certain anarchist and socialist principles he was staunchly unaffiliated, mocked all notions of progress, prescribed to no single ideology or movement. In 1917, Cravan met the poet Mina Loy at a war benefit ball where the dress code was modern art movements.
That night Cravan had to deliver an address on'The Independent Artists of France and America' but he was pranked by Picabia and Duchamp who got him drunk such that he ended up swaying and slurring his speech on the platform, as well as shouting obscenities, removing his coat, vest and suspenders. This led to his arrest by four private detectives at the event but, after being taken to the local police station, Cravan was soon bailed out by friend Walter Conrad Arensberg who took him back to his home at West Sixty-Seventh Street. Loy was to describe him, as the love of her life. Cravan left New York for Mexico on September 1st with a friend called Frost. Around this time in his letters to Loy, who remained in New York, he wrote that “I am only at my best when travelling” and that “hen I have to stay too long in in the same place, I become imbecilic.’ Together Cravan and Frost hitchhiked north through Connecticut and Maine to Canada