Max Ernst: La grand malade
From: Profound Occultation. By: Polizzotti, Mark, Parnassus: Poetry in Review, 00483028, 2006, Vol. 30, Issue 1/2
… indeed feared that these might be the last poems he would write, perhaps because he had felt so low for so long it seemed he would never again have anything uplifting to say. In contrast Ernst was on song and his inspiration constant, which Eluard could see better than anyone … His treasured friend had occupied every corner of his life, from the recesses of his imagination as a poet to the intimacy of his bedroom, from the front door of his home up to the attic … Eluard had given Ernst everything and now stood empty-handed, a hollow man.
She is standing on my eyelids And her hair mingles with mine, She has the shape of my hands, She has the color of my eyes ("A Woman in Love")
Tears in the eyes, the sorrows of the sorrowful, Dull sorrows, dreary tears. He asks for nothing, he isn't unfeeling, He's sad in prison and sad if he's free ("No Hard Feelings")
Oh sure — hello there, face! Where light more clearly sounds desire than landscape! Oh sure — hello to your harpoons, Your cries, your leaps, and what you hide below! I've lost, I've won, just look at what I've mounted.
The central image of the artist's wife, Gala, invitingly holding forth a bunch of grapes, is framed on either side by a confusing array of incongruous objects, fragmented vistas, and eerie townscapes that reverberate with Dalí's personal history and his sense of place … The girl skipping rope that we see through the central archway is also a direct descendant of the child spinning the hoop in de Chirico's Mystery and Melancholy of a Street of 1914, while the swaying bell in the belfry behind the girl that functions as her "anthropomorphic echo" can be traced to an etching from the Bizzarie di varie figure cycle by the 17th-century Italian artist Giovanni Battista Bracelli.
I am the self-dismembered man Denatured detached Capable of death incapable of sin
Je me suis enfin détaché De toutes choses naturelles [At last I've removed myself From all things natural]
On veut des consonnes sans voyelles Des consonnes qui pètent sourdement Imitez le son de la toupie Laissez pétiller un son nasal et continu [We want consonants with no vowels Consonants that quietly pop Mimic the noise of the spinning top A sustained nasal effervescent sound]
I want only consonants no vowels Consonants that fart insensibly Mimicking a small boy's spinning top Sparkling nose-farts ("Victory")
Rivalise donc poète avec les étiquettes des parfumeurs
Perdre Mais perdre vraiment Pour laisser place à la trouvaille
The poets compete with perfume labels ("The Musician of Saint-Merry")
To lose Really to lose To make room for the windfall ("Always")
I've dreamed of you so much you're losing your reality Is there still time to reach that living body and kiss onto that mouth the birth of the voice so dear to me? I've dreamed of you so much that my arms, accustomed to being crossed on my breast while hugging your shadow would perhaps not bend to the shape of your body ("I've Dreamed of You So Much")
Your smell the smell of your hair and many other things will live on inside me. In me and I'm not Ronsard or Baudelaire I'm Robert Desnos who, because I knew and loved you Is as good as they are ("No, Love Is Not Dead")
We cannot go back. Academics cannot recapture or reconstitute the mysteries of Surrealist practice by art historical means. Nor can ardent evocations of the original mystique and the credulity upon which they depend revive its spirit. Not everything about Surrealism has aged well. Aspects of its method and rhetoric strike the contemporary reader or viewer as embarrassingly out-of-date, if not preposterous. Acknowledging this fact rather than evading or explaining it away is the necessary first step toward relocating and reconnecting with Surrealism's critical and imaginative essence.
The Eyes of Gala: