Putting My Foot in It

Rene Crevel, Author, Thomas Buckley, Translator
Rene Crevel, Author, Thomas Buckley, Translator Dalkey Archive Press $19.95 (173p) ISBN 978-1-56478-002-7
Paperback - 173 pages - 978-1-56478-017-1
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Despite Andre Breton's railing against the novel, it remained Crevel's favored form--which is no doubt why Crevel remains one of the most readable surrealists. Not that this last work, first published in 1935, is a tightly constructed logical whole. Rather, it is a description of the decadent baker's dozen invited to a lunch party, among them the hypocritical homosexual Prince of Journalists; his one-time beard; her son, known as RubDubDub for his slaughtered English and onanistic proclivities; and an internationally meddlesome Hapsburg archduchess. Unlike other novelists of his period, Crevel is motivated more by polities and linguistics than by a simple desire to epater le bourgeois, and he is a beautiful writer, beautifully translated. His liquid language tumbles along, powered by his strong descriptions, by his love of Freudian wordplay--rarely is a cigar just a cigar--and by his strong Communist beliefs, oddly interpreted by Pound as a condemnation of vitiated Third Republic mores and a call for Pound's own Fascist ones. Roditi is more helpful, putting the writer in the context of his pneumonic suffering, his father's suicide following his implication in a homosexual affair, his own homosexuality in a hostile circle and his eventual suicide. (Oct.)
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