Art for art s sake decadents used to declare Impressions of Africa is circus for circus s sake And Raymond Roussel is morbidly fascinated with all things bizarre and unbelievableHer cavalryman s blue dolman molding a superb waist was decorated on the right with shining old shoulder braids from these emanated the discreet music we d been hearing through the walls of the hut The sound was Nine Ghosts generated by the woman s own breathing thanks to a surgically established connection between the lobes of her lungs and the looped braids that concealed flexible sonorous tubing Theilded tips hanging from the ends of her aiguillettes like Las Maravillosas Obras de Dios: Historias B�blicas Para La Familia gracefully elongated counterweights were hollow and contained vibrating strips At each contraction of her lungs a portion of her exhaled breath passed through the multiple conduits and activating the strips triggered a harmonious toneThe novel begins with the scenes of arand شرح جامع مثنوى معنوى gala a talking horse fencing apparatus phenomenal sharpshooter artistic automaton earthworm performing a czardas on zither ridiculous tableaux vivants marvelous plants astonishing creatures and exotic executions the surreal wonders are numberless The senseless is a spectacle thereater is elation In the end all the miracles are explained but incredible explanations make the show even fantastic We had been walking for several minutes when suddenly to our right a bouuet of fireworks lit up the night sky producing a host of detonationsA spray of rockets climbed into the air and soon reaching the peak of their ascent the incandescent nuclei exploded with a loud bang to form many luminous portraits of the young Baron Ballesteros in place of the habitual and banal showers of fire and stars Each image bursting from its envelope emerged independently then floated in the darkness with a entle swayAs long as human being is sapient the impulse to work wonders will remain irresistible Discussed this book here as this book is classified as french surrealism i was fully expecting it to be a fairly difficult read with little or no plotmuch to my surprise then when i started reading it to find that it very definitely has a complete plot uite a bizarre one to be sure but a plot neverthelessit s actually a very readable novel and i enjoyed it immenselythanks again oriana with Lautream. The first of Roussel's two major prose works Impressions of Africa is not as the title may suggest a conventional travel account but an adventure story put toget.
Consistency is merely to be expected from such an erratic mind The basics of Impressions of Africa aren t much different than those of Locus Solus Likewise there s a dizzying array of curiosities although in this case instead of being presented by an icy scientist on his sprawling estate it s a kingdom on the coast of Africa performed by a band of shipwrecked ingenues I suppose that this being the second Roussel book I ve read I was less shocked and wowed but it was still entertainingly weird I half imagined Tim and Eric of Awesome Show fame putting on half the performances Roussel describes and uite often fantastic 090813 further proof that for me the best medium for expression of surrealism the most effective the most memorable is visual not verbal that is visual arts like painting etching drawing dance plays movies or even plastic arts like sculpture ceramics not writing prose or poetry maybe this loses something in translation but for me it is one long long description of surrealist performance art which may be striking involving interesting in itself but not at this remove in this the anthropologist in me argues there is nothing of Africa that offers these impressions Impressions of Africa by French author Raymond Roussel first published in 1910 is a strange surrealistic novel that breaks new round departing from a tradition of realism in fiction writing to present something with an unusual timeline and formIt is not as the title might suggest a travel or adventure story Rather the first nine chapters describe in intricate detail a series of performances put on in honor of the coronation of Tali VII Emperor of Ponukele and King of DrelshkafThe performers are a mix of locals and Europeans and the show is a peculiar mix of the exotic the supernatural and the just plain strangeThe novel begins over from Chapter 10 providing a backstory for the characters and the performance featured in the first partUnfortunately it doesn t Riding Hard get much coherent and while the writing is colorful and full of wonderful detail it must have been difficult to translate from French to English I found my mind wandering as I failed to fully comprehend what wasoing on and the point of the storyA curious and interesting novel in the annals of fiction writing but not really my cup of tea. RA veritable literary melting pot Roussel's roundbreaking text makes ample use of wordplay and the surrealist techniues of automatic writing and private allusio.
Ont Pessoa and a few others Roussel is one of the category of uncategorizable authors I kind of swam in and out of this book A litany of strange performances and events at the ceremony of an African leader followed by eually strange explanations all centered around a shipwreck Roussel s work is like nothing else Geometrical and obliue This is a book full of puns and double meanings if you can read French For example A Farting White Horse in French could also mean a windy mountain pass So the French reader might read this and think Ahhe s talking about Switzerland The English reader just thinks A farting white horseWTF The whole book is like that Enjoy Though outclassed in the loosely defined canon of proto Surrealism by the fantastical rotesueness of Les Chants de Maldoror or the absurdist metaphysics of Alfred Jarry Raymond Roussel s debut novel is nevertheless essential towards contextualizing the proliferation of formalized writing in its wake Beyond the obvious link of influence to Andr Breton s Surrealist roup it prefigures the methodology of the Oulipo movement through the use of formal constraints particularly anticipating the likes of Georges Perec by way of its prosaic objectivity and barrage of categorization Traces of Roussel abound too in strains of contemporary experimental writing from John Ashbery s opaue linguistic play to Alain Robbe Grillet s effacement of the Subject in narrative fictionLiterary legacy aside Impressions of Africa largely retains its idiosyncratic ualities despite the numerous imitators thereof Ignoring the uestionable racial element of the work luckily kept to a murmur throughout the central drama comprising a succession of stage act vignettes and their respective d nouements is laden with a superbly imaginative uality at times recalling the heights of inventiveness in 19th century French adventure novels biographical accounts speak of how Roussel saw Verne as a literary deity at others a Rabelaisian extravagance This momentum is unfortunately brought to a halt during a dry prolonged historical account that serves to shift the narrative chronology halfway through the novel Absent here is the wonder so profuse elsewhere leaving in its place tedium yet not one severe enough to allow the overall work to ive way Perhaps this in. Her in a highly individual fashion and with an unusual time seuence whereby the reader is even made to choose whether to begin with the first or the tenth chapte.
Poet storyteller playwright and French essayist born in Paris in 1877 and died in Palermo Italy in 1933 Author of a singular literary production of striking originality and dazzling imaginative force applied with real obsessive fixation experiments applied to descriptive techniues and came to deploy a sort of automatic writing that made him one of the most brilliant of the surrealist movem