October 16, 2009

René Char : science, a blind lighthouse

In May 1968, apart from the social events that shake France, René Char has a heart attack, first in a long series of cardiovascular accidents. He mentions that "experience" in the introductory text of the Le Chien de coeur, published a year after : "I thought death was coming, but death where, overwhelmed by an unprecedented understanding, I would still need to make a move before falling asleep, before being spread out to the universe forever." This collection, illustrated with an original lithograph by Joan Miro for the first 95 copies, expose six poems, including "Les Apparitions dédaignées" (despised Apparitions), text denouncing the absurd distortions of modern society. The poet discredits the usefulness of science which consolidate a little more the divorce between man and nature :

"Les civilisations sont des graisses.
L'Histoire échoue, Dieu faute de Dieu
n'enjambe plus nos murs soupçonneux,
l'homme feule à l'oreille de l'homme,
le Temps se fourvoie, la fission est
en cours. Quoi encore?

La science ne peut fournir à l'homme
dévasté qu'un phare aveugle, une arme
de détresse, des outils sans légende. Au
plus dément : le sifflet des manœuvres."
Qute from "Les Apparitions dédaignées" in Le Chien de coeur.

Currently, the librairie Loliée offers :
  • Char (René). Le Chien de cœur. Paris, G.L.M., 1969, in-8. First edition. One of the first 95 copies on Arches paper with an original color lithograph signed by Joan Miro. (Only those copies have the lithograph).