Radio Dada

I’m on rileydog today!

I’m almost done reading Louis Aragon’s The Adventures of Telemachus. Apparently, this is also a parody of a story written by Fenelon in 1699. I’ve had previous experience with Dadaist films and visual art, but not literature. This experience has been appropriately strange. Aragon warps everything for his own pleasure. Greco-Roman is wrestled into something resembling farce after a night of hallucinogenic drug use. [not that i know anything about that, mind]. Minerva is Mentor, the guide or something or Telemachus. A foul ball, Mentor/Minerva’s incessant proselytizing is an endless source of amusement – while at the same time containing the meat of the book. sweetmeat i suppose. i would think her a lesbian if she didn’t bang Calypso in quite such a masculine way. Telemachus and nymph Eucharis do the nasty a few times as well, as for Telemachus, that saucy Greek, i’m not sure his heart is in it. When they see an onerous play called “The Adventures of Telemachus” it takes nothing more to convince me that Aragon is mocking Fenelon.

He [he being Aragon], in true Dada fashion, fastidiously seeks to become He Who Destroys Literature. yet also in true Dada fashion, he seeks to create something out of the destruction. i think this is what i like most about those crazies. they kept the knowledge that destruction and creation are inextricably bound with their mittens and cookbooks.

Some favorites thusfar:

“One word is just as good as the next: all of them are ciphers.” p. 21

“I believe the blue sky, the green trees, the tricolor flag, the red flag, the earth as round as a ball, young youth, old, old age. I believe. I believe in doubt, I doubt my faith. I doubt that I believe in my doubt. What I believe is that I believe it.” [spoken to an audience of penguins and seagulls by that rapscallion Mentor] p. 35

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