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ARTIST
TITLE
The Poet Assassinated
FORMAT
Book

LABEL
CATALOG #
EC APOLLIN2 EC APOLLIN2
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
3/20/2000

"The poet Guillaume Apollinaire was modernism's first champion, and after his early death in 1918, he became its first saint. In 1916, while recovering from a head wound received in World War I, he published The Poet Assassinated, his most famous work of prose; a roman à clef mythologizing himself as well as friends and enemies including Pablo Picasso, Marie Laurencin, Jean Cocteau, Max Jacob, and others from the legendary 'banquet years' of pre-war Paris. With wit, erudition, and venom, Apollinaire concocts a Rabelaisian parallel universe, and slyly tells his own life story, from illegitimate birth to literary fame, in the process. The novella recounts the life and death of Croniamantal, whose birth is 'saluted' by the Eiffel Tower's 'beautiful erection,' who rises through the Parisian literary world to proclaim himself 'the greatest of living poets,' and who is promptly torn to pieces by a mob. This translation is by Matthew Josephson, an American who arrived in Paris in 1921 and entered the circle of avant-garde artists and poets galvanized by Apollinaire. Published in 1923 and never before reprinted, Josephson's translation is itself a fascinating artifact of the period, its tone an echo of the way Apollinaire must have sounded to his contemporaries."