To End of World

Blaise Ccendrars, Author, Blaise Cendrars, Author Dufour Editions $32 (0p) ISBN 978-0-7206-0819-9
In Therese Eglantine, Cendrars (1887-1961), the cubist poet and echt modernist, created a character reflecting the need in ``our day and age Paris, late '40s for precision, for speed, for energy, for fragmentation in time and diffusion in space.'' Therese, however, is no nubile bohemian but a 79-year-old actress who likes to be beaten, a Parisian sparrow gone to seed. She is the star both of a play--perhaps, speculates Crosland, Giraudoux's The Mad woman of Chaillot --and of a subterranean galaxy of ex-legionnaires, theater people, black marketeers and freaks. Although Cendrars complained about difficulties with the plot, there really isn't any, just events juxtaposed to show Therese as mistress of the improbable: her prolix self-defense in the face of a possible murder charge; her fascination with a legless woman, the Presidente , and a violent man, Jeannot. Cendrars's sharp humor (``They're aerophagous, and you can smell it on their breath'') is the high point of a book which is perhaps not as compellingly manic as Dan Yack . It should also be noted that, even without the first dozen pages (in which Cendrars portrays the gamut of sexual, sanguinary and excretory activities), this novel is not for everyone. (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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