Commentaries - August 2016

Coda: Eight poems in black, after Goya

[N.B. What began for me with 50 Caprichos after Goya & has continued with variations on “The Disasters of War” will end with this Coda, first sketched in Madrid 2007, in the shadow of his darkest works. (J.R.)]



two women watch

a man    his hand

under his cloak

or in his pants    the act

Fous Littéraires vs. non-sense

Part 1: The little girl
Alice, illustration by John Tenniel

The main interest for early lovers of Roussel's work, such as the surrealists and Duchamp, was its bizarre content – the impossible tableaux vivants and unlikely narratives in which these were supposedly contextualized and “explained.” However, in the second half of the 20th century, focus definitively shifted to the (deeper) structural logics (revealed in How I came to write certain of my books) that generate these contents as their (surface) effects.