This volume marks the third in the series of Romanzi Brevi, attractively jacketed and edited by Alberto Stock of Rome. A veritable avalanche of biographical writing on D'Annunzio bas fallen upon the literary world. The chronicler is perplexed as to the justification of so much biography on the poet at the present moment. The remunerative reason can be of slight import, except in the event of the famous poet's death. Further conjecture would be beside the point; so let us say a few words with regard to two of these biographies.
Angelo Sodini's Ariel Armato Mondadori, Milan is valuable for its factual and entertaining information.
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It was awarded the Enrico Garda prize of 5o,ooo lire. A disciple and admirer of D'Annunzio, Sodini bas fallen into the inevitable by portraying the poet more or less at his best. Otherwise the material issues from first-hand sources. In this biography D'Annunzio is treated at his best and at his worst-he bas his praiseand his flaying.
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The composition is set off in cursory style; the episodes appetizingly told. A biography can hardly ever be exhaustive, such defects are overcome by other merits. Along present day formulae of biography this one leaves little to be desired. In poetry two volumes corne to our immediate attention: Ada Negri published Vespertina and Francesco Pastonchi, I verseiti, both volumes handsomely and substantially gotten up by the editors Mondadori of Milan.
The verses collected in Vespertina might be called prayers at eventide, for their spirituality, reflection, and resignation. The reviewer was impressed by the same sense of sincerity and loftiness which characterized the authoress's early poems m. The hendecasyllabic metre seems to have been a happy choice as it gives architectonic unity to the whole book.
There permeates throughout a mellow resignation reflecting the author's own life of usefulness and well-being:. The other volume of poems destined to decorate the season, Pastonchi's versetti, derives its title from a Catullian motive, "scribens versiculos.
It consists of varied verse, intimate or descriptive, with here and there an ever so light a note of sarcasm. Woman viewed from various aspects makes up the bulk of content matter as well as furnishes the book its leitmotif:. To close our discussion let us jot down a few notes on three plays at hand. The play calls for a prologue by the director as a sort of warning that there is to be portrayed some prevalent social conditions which need as much cleansing as the Augean stables.
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The adjective he applies to these immoral, or amoral, social conducts is "putrid," or nothing short of it. Certainly the play is handled in a novel way, and is worthy of being staged in spite of its huge list of dramatis personae, impracticable from the point of view of modern stage craft. Eroi, a war drama, sketches the fortitude of the private, Bonacchi, representative of thousands of others from ail lands and ail creeds.
For this Robinson Crusoe his island is only a memory; he is a dispossessed savage, urbanised against his will. In returning to the world of men, bringing his Man Friday with him, he is forced to encounter the squalors of town life. Crusoe has been brutalised physically by the hardships of his island, and is now mentally tortured by being away from it. The various scenes are permeated by memory and regret as if a grubby child had been abandoned in a hostile world.
Saint-John Perse is always able to produce rich, almost untranslatable, pictures that are simultaneously exotic and banal, even vulgar: and yet the harsh aspects of day-to-day living whether on the island or in the city are described in a language that is powerfully nostalgic. Crusoe has lost his Eden, but he has also lost his ability to survive in the real world.
But which of the two worlds is real? The resulting poetry seems at time to have been produced in an intoxication of reverence for nature in all its brutal glory — one is carried away by the sweep of the descriptions which seem comparable at times to the earthy hymns to Welsh life by Dylan Thomas — earthy yet also high-flown, the product of a rare learning and mastery of language. Durey, in some ways a musical Gauguin whose instincts were to withdraw from the glamour of urban life into his own island, must have felt a sympathy with these texts: the struggles to adjust to city life of Robinson and Friday once a dignified savage, now grotesquely attired in a cast-off red coat must have struck a chord with Durey as he himself attempted to fit in with the snobberies of le Tout-Paris.
At least Friday and Crusoe are workers and survivors, they have a strength and integrity which shames the dandy or aesthete. This abrasiveness, a directness that is mirrored in these settings, is combined with a rare and poetic atmosphere which unobtrusively, and almost unexpectedly, pervades both text and music. On y joua de la musique de Satie, Honegger, Auric et Durey.
Pourquoi ne pas faire un bestiaire des temps modernes, songea-t-il? Eliot et autres auteurs anglo-saxons. Update Required To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin. Don't show me this message again.
The Archive service is for CDs which have been deleted and where the musical content is not otherwise available. Auric, Milhaud, Poulenc, Tailleferre, Honegger I have put your bouquet in the waters of the same vase And fondly twisted you by the stem All of you free to choose your way in the air beyond.
This is the surest way of refusing to grow old; and being as I am 11 years your senior, I can assure you that the prescription is one of the best. I have the rare good fortune of not yet feeling too greatly the ravages of time; and the youthfulness I imagine I still possess sustains itself at the source of our friendship — an extraordinary friendship that will always stand as an example to those younger than ourselves.
It has lasted for 40 years, dear Francis — and although that famous article by Henri Collet dates from early January , it merely sanctioned something that was already in existence, that had been growing during the preceding months — notably through the concerts at the Vieux-Colombier organized by our admirable Jane [Bathori]. I think it would be a good thing if we could have a reunion one day, in private, during the coming autumn, to celebrate this year friendship and our indestructible ties of fellowship. Although, alas, Arthur [Honegger] has already left us, his memory is always with us, and this can only bind us together even more strongly.
In any event, it would be a great joy to me if we could meet again before long. I did think of sending you a copy of the article I wrote for Europe about your songs; only my usual negligence, which led me to procrastinate day after day, has prevented me from doing so. Listening to the two records, I was really very struck by their unity and by the distinctive quality of the works, which have become true classics.
Since then I have also had the opportunity of speaking about your very successful Sonata for flute and your Trio. Unfortunately, my trip to Poland did not come off. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs had led me to expect a subsidy for the trip but at the very last minute they refused it.
As for the talk 1 was due to give, it was published in a Polish literary review. I was very disappointed but perhaps there will be another opportunity some time. In connection with Le Bestiaire , you mention the rue Boissonade.
I will not be staying there much longer. We have in fact been expropriated by the Welfare Board, which adjoins our property. Our house is going to be demolished and will be replaced by the morgue for the hospitals that are being built behind us. Too many memories are attached to the place for me not to be devastated by all this. Consequently, I am more than delighted with our house in St Tropez; the spot where we are is sufficiently secluded — it is two kilometres away from the town — to be free from noise and disturbance, even in mid-summer. My affection for you remains as much as ever alive, immediate and necessary.
I embrace you.
So much has been written elsewhere about the importance of Jean Cocteau that the briefest of sketches must here suffice. Prodigiously talented and energetic, his abilities as both writer and artist ranged from poetry to novels, plays to revues; his unique line-drawings now seem one of the most exquisite by-products of the creative ferment in Paris in the years between the wars — part-serious, part-comical, gently louche, sometimes joyfully lewd, but always life-enhancing.
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One can scarcely think of the Paris of Diaghilev, Picasso and Stravinsky without imagining Cocteau as the self-appointed French plenipotentiary to these mighty foreign visitors — the mediating link between them and their French colleagues. It was the mondaine side of his character which obviously irritated Durey. Nevertheless, French music owes Cocteau much, if not quite as much as he himself might have looked forward to in His different names betoken a man with double or triple lives.
His poetry is highly valued in France but he has remained almost unknown to English-speaking readers despite translations by T S Eliot and others. His nine volumes of poetry published between and are milestones in a career of voluntary anonymity. In the early days it was immediately hailed by Gide, Proust, Apollinaire and Breton, and the universal admiration of the French literary world continued in like fashion. The award of the Nobel Prize for Literature in seemed a natural culmination of a lifetime of achievement for a poet whom many had compared to Rimbaud.
From his father, Arman learned oil painting and photography. After receiving his bachelor's degree in philosophy and mathematics in , Arman began studying at the Ecole Nationale d'Art Decoratif in Nice. The trio would bond closely on a subsequent hitchhiking tour of the nations of Europe. During this time he also served in the French military, completing his tour of duty as a medical orderly during the Indo-Chinese War.
Early in the development of his career, it was apparent that Arman's concept of the accumulation of vast quantities of the same objects was to remain a significant component of his art. Ironically, Arman had originally focused more attention on his abstract paintings, considering them to be of more consequence than his early accumulations of postage stamps. Only when he witnessed viewer reaction to his first accumulation in did he fully recognize the power of such art.
In , he began welding together accumulations of the same kinds of metal objects, such as axes as pictured below.
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Inspired by an exhibition for the German Dadaist, Kurt Schwitters, in Arman began working on "Cachets", his first major artistic undertaking. Arman was signing with his first name as an homage to Van Gogh, who signed his works "Vincent" , in , he chose to change the spelling of his name from Armand to Arman. Nevertheless, he continued to use "Arman" as his public persona.