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Nights as Day, Days as Night door Michel…
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Nights as Day, Days as Night (origineel 1961; editie 1988)

door Michel Leiris (Auteur), Richard Sieburth (Vertaler), Roger Shattuck (Introductie), Maurice Blanchot (Voorwoord)

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883248,133 (3.67)Geen
Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Autobiography. Translated from the French by Richard Sieburth, with a foreword by Maurice Blanchot. Hailed as an "important literary document and contemporary pleasure" by Lydia Davis, Nights as Day, Days as Night is a chronicle of Michel Leiris's dreams. But it is also an exceptional autobiography, a distorted vision of twentieth-century France, a surrealist collage, a collection of prose poems. Leiris, author of the seminal autobiography Manhood, here disrupts the line between being asleep and awake, between being and non-being. He captures the profound strangeness of the dreamer's identity: that anonymous creature who stirs awake at night to experience a warped version of waking life. Whatever the setting (from circus shows to brothels, from the streets of Paris to Hollywood silent films), Leiris concentrates on estranging the familiar, on unsettling the commonplace. Beautifully translated by Richard Sieburth, these dream records often read like an outsider's view of Leiris's life and epoch. This outsider is the dreamer, Leiris's nocturnal double, whose incisors grow as large as a street, who describes the terror he feels at being executed by the Nazis, and who can say in all seriousness, "I am dead." It is an alternate life, with its own logic, its own paradoxes, and its own horrors, which becomes alienating and intimate at once. With hints of Kafka, Pirandello, and Nerval, Nights as Day, Days as Night is one of Leiris's finest works of self-portraiture.… (meer)
Lid:yuef3i
Titel:Nights as Day, Days as Night
Auteurs:Michel Leiris (Auteur)
Andere auteurs:Richard Sieburth (Vertaler), Roger Shattuck (Introductie), Maurice Blanchot (Voorwoord)
Info:Eridanos Press (1988), 198 pages
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek
Waardering:
Trefwoorden:to-read

Informatie over het werk

Nights As Day, Days As Night door Michel Leiris (1961)

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FINAL REVIEW

French surreal fiction writer Michel Leiris in 1922. Nights as Day, Days as Night - More than one hundred entries in this book, the author's dream journal, composed over a span of forty years. Here is the very first entry: In front of a crowd of gawking spectators - of whom I am one - a series of executions is being carried out, and this rivets my attention. Up until the moment when the executioner and his attendants direct themselves toward me because it is my turn now. Which comes as a complete and terrifying surprise.

What I especially enjoy about this dream is how Leiris, as dreamer, is initially merely a spectator but then there is a radical shift - the main players within the dream, the executioner and his attendants, turn their attention on the dreamer. Which leaves us with the question: Now that his turn has come, what will be the experience of the dreamer if he is executed? Similar in spirit to all the other dreams in his journal, Michel Leiris neither poses the question nor provides an answer since he regards his dreams as a kind of poetry, dream prose poems to be recorded free of analysis or commentary.

As Maurice Blanchot notes in his excellent ten-page forward, for Michel Leiris, dream is not an escape; rather, dreams emerge from the same crucible as our waking day thoughts; we can’t shake off our desires and fears. Indeed, Leiris begins his dream journal with a quote from Gerard de Neval: “Dream is a second life.” For me, reading this book was a decidedly intimate experience; I had the distinct feeling dream was even more than the author’s second life – dream took center stage; dream was his primary life. And, why not? Michel Leiris was a highly creative literary artist who, similar to nearly all his fellow surrealists, favored a dream narrative over the more conventional forms of poetry and the novel.

Turning to the entries themselves, poetry and the arts are frequent subjects and abiding themes, as when Michel Leiris, as dreamer, walks along a broad Paris avenue and passes a huge dark building that turns out to be a psychiatric hospital. The patients are out on the sidewalk, each caged up, sort of, by a circle of bars that comes up to his or her waist. All the lunatics are screaming and waving their arms. Michel recognizes several people, among them Georges Gabory, whom he congratulates on his recently published book of poems. After looking carefully, making sure no hospital guard is watching, Georges escapes from his cage and joins Michel on a long walk.

In another entry, Michel observes a bit of dialogue between André Breton and Robert Desnos as the two men perform as actors on a stage. Or, on further reflection, Michel might be actually reading the words on a page with stage directions. And in still another entry, a Scotsman plays a bagpipe in the shape of a gigantic bloated man in the manner of Picasso’s “Baigneuse.” With dreams like these, is it any surprise Michel Leiris had a longtime affiliation with the surrealists and surrealism?

Here is one of my favorites, a shorter three sentence entry: One night, drunk, on the Boulevard de Sebastolpol, I pass an old wretch of a man and call out to him. He answers: “Leave me alone . . . I am the master of the heights of cinema.” Then he continues on his way to Belleville.

As readers, we may ask: How does the dreamer know he is drunk and what does it feel like to be drunk within a dream? How does being under the influence of alcohol affect the clarity of the dream? Are the words Michel calls out garbled? Again, as the poetry is in the dream itself, Michel Lieris recounts as accurately as possible the dream content without further elaboration or explanation. Such is the nature of dreams that in a curious and ticklish way, the more quizzical, the more perplexing and puzzling, the greater the entry’s poetic and imaginative power.

Another surreal entry: My friend André Masson and I are soaring through the air like gymnasiarchs. A voice calls up to us: “World-class acrobats when are the two of you finally going to come down to earth?” At these words, we execute a flip over the horizon and drop into a concave hemisphere.

I encourage anyone who feels the call to join these acrobats of the sky, anyone ready to take the leap into concave hemispheres, to treat your imagination to this collection of surreal dreams. And when you return to earth, you can also join Michel Leiris when he becomes part of a cubist painting, that is, when his very being, via his gaze, projects itself into the painting, into a cubist world without perspective.


Portrait of Michel Lieris by Francis Bacon.
( )
  Glenn_Russell | Nov 13, 2018 |
FINAL REVIEW

French surreal fiction writer Michel Leiris in 1922. Nights as Day, Days as Night - More than one hundred entries in this book, the author's dream journal, composed over a span of forty years. Here is the very first entry: In front of a crowd of gawking spectators - of whom I am one - a series of executions is being carried out, and this rivets my attention. Up until the moment when the executioner and his attendants direct themselves toward me because it is my turn now. Which comes as a complete and terrifying surprise.

What I especially enjoy about this dream is how Leiris, as dreamer, is initially merely a spectator but then there is a radical shift - the main players within the dream, the executioner and his attendants, turn their attention on the dreamer. Which leaves us with the question: Now that his turn has come, what will be the experience of the dreamer if he is executed? Similar in spirit to all the other dreams in his journal, Michel Leiris neither poses the question nor provides an answer since he regards his dreams as a kind of poetry, dream prose poems to be recorded free of analysis or commentary.

As Maurice Blanchot notes in his excellent ten-page forward, for Michel Leiris, dream is not an escape; rather, dreams emerge from the same crucible as our waking day thoughts; we can’t shake off our desires and fears. Indeed, Leiris begins his dream journal with a quote from Gerard de Neval: “Dream is a second life.” For me, reading this book was a decidedly intimate experience; I had the distinct feeling dream was even more than the author’s second life – dream took center stage; dream was his primary life. And, why not? Michel Leiris was a highly creative literary artist who, similar to nearly all his fellow surrealists, favored a dream narrative over the more conventional forms of poetry and the novel.

Turning to the entries themselves, poetry and the arts are frequent subjects and abiding themes, as when Michel Leiris, as dreamer, walks along a broad Paris avenue and passes a huge dark building that turns out to be a psychiatric hospital. The patients are out on the sidewalk, each caged up, sort of, by a circle of bars that comes up to his or her waist. All the lunatics are screaming and waving their arms. Michel recognizes several people, among them Georges Gabory, whom he congratulates on his recently published book of poems. After looking carefully, making sure no hospital guard is watching, Georges escapes from his cage and joins Michel on a long walk.

In another entry, Michel observes a bit of dialogue between André Breton and Robert Desnos as the two men perform as actors on a stage. Or, on further reflection, Michel might be actually reading the words on a page with stage directions. And in still another entry, a Scotsman plays a bagpipe in the shape of a gigantic bloated man in the manner of Picasso’s “Baigneuse.” With dreams like these, is it any surprise Michel Leiris had a longtime affiliation with the surrealists and surrealism?

Here is one of my favorites, a shorter three sentence entry: One night, drunk, on the Boulevard de Sebastolpol, I pass an old wretch of a man and call out to him. He answers: “Leave me alone . . . I am the master of the heights of cinema.” Then he continues on his way to Belleville.

As readers, we may ask: How does the dreamer know he is drunk and what does it feel like to be drunk within a dream? How does being under the influence of alcohol affect the clarity of the dream? Are the words Michel calls out garbled? Again, as the poetry is in the dream itself, Michel Lieris recounts as accurately as possible the dream content without further elaboration or explanation. Such is the nature of dreams that in a curious and ticklish way, the more quizzical, the more perplexing and puzzling, the greater the entry’s poetic and imaginative power.

Another surreal entry: My friend André Masson and I are soaring through the air like gymnasiarchs. A voice calls up to us: “World-class acrobats when are the two of you finally going to come down to earth?” At these words, we execute a flip over the horizon and drop into a concave hemisphere.

I encourage anyone who feels the call to join these acrobats of the sky, anyone ready to take the leap into concave hemispheres, to treat your imagination to this collection of surreal dreams. And when you return to earth, you can also join Michel Leiris when he becomes part of a cubist painting, that is, when his very being, via his gaze, projects itself into the painting, into a cubist world without perspective.


Portrait of Michel Lieris by Francis Bacon.
( )
  GlennRussell | Feb 16, 2017 |
A dream journal. In a word; uneven.

May 29-30, 1929
Lined up single file, each one mounting the preceding one, eight dogs copulate before my very eyes. I am informed that they have been trained to do this as a stunt.

August 28-29, 1942
[...] I remember leaving the theater, still in that heightened state every spectacle ought to induce in us, and being horribly upset that I had to deal with the crush of the subway and the hassles at the ticket booth because of some error I had made in small change. I railed against this obligatory return to my senses; I had been bathing in a myth, and in a split-second it had all evaporated.
( )
5 stem slickdpdx | Jan 1, 2010 |
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» Andere auteurs toevoegen (1 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Michel Leirisprimaire auteuralle editiesberekend
Blanchot, MauriceVoorwoordSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
直孝, 細田VertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Sieburth, RichardVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd

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May 29-30, 1929
Lined up single file, each one mounting the preceding one, eight dogs copulate before my very eyes. I am informed that they have been trained to do this as a stunt.
August 28-29, 1942
[...] I remember leaving the theater, still in that heightened state every spectacle ought to induce in us, and being horribly upset that I had to deal with the crush of the subway and the hassles at the ticket booth because of some error I had made in small change. I railed against this obligatory return to my senses; I had been bathing in a myth, and in a split-second it had all evaporated.
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Literary Nonfiction. Poetry. Autobiography. Translated from the French by Richard Sieburth, with a foreword by Maurice Blanchot. Hailed as an "important literary document and contemporary pleasure" by Lydia Davis, Nights as Day, Days as Night is a chronicle of Michel Leiris's dreams. But it is also an exceptional autobiography, a distorted vision of twentieth-century France, a surrealist collage, a collection of prose poems. Leiris, author of the seminal autobiography Manhood, here disrupts the line between being asleep and awake, between being and non-being. He captures the profound strangeness of the dreamer's identity: that anonymous creature who stirs awake at night to experience a warped version of waking life. Whatever the setting (from circus shows to brothels, from the streets of Paris to Hollywood silent films), Leiris concentrates on estranging the familiar, on unsettling the commonplace. Beautifully translated by Richard Sieburth, these dream records often read like an outsider's view of Leiris's life and epoch. This outsider is the dreamer, Leiris's nocturnal double, whose incisors grow as large as a street, who describes the terror he feels at being executed by the Nazis, and who can say in all seriousness, "I am dead." It is an alternate life, with its own logic, its own paradoxes, and its own horrors, which becomes alienating and intimate at once. With hints of Kafka, Pirandello, and Nerval, Nights as Day, Days as Night is one of Leiris's finest works of self-portraiture.

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