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ANICET or the PANORAMA by Louis Aragon (Atlas Books)
March 30, 2023
The beauty of DADA is that it came from total disaster, in other words, destruction. Out of the ashes of World War One came DADA. Like pollen floating in an air stream across Europe, writers/artists got a whiff, which stayed within their DNA. Perhaps the first literature to come out of the French DADA world is Louis Aragon's "Anicet or the Panorama." It's a disjointed tale of crime life but told by a writer that is not overly concerned about narration from A to Z. That map is re-written by Aragon, who uses the life surrounding him at the time, which means Andre Breton, Max Jacob, Picasso, and others, who all appear in this "fiction."
World War 1 changed the young doctor Aragon, and the future of World War 2, will change him again. So what we have here is a very young Aragon facing up to and articulating the world around him - Paris 1918/1919. A snapshot of the time, especially with the cinematic references (Pearl White serials, Fantomas), but a snapshot was taken by a poet with his poetic sensibilities in place.
Once again, Atlas Press goes beyond its duty to come out with another beauty of a production, which is this book.
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