Liberty or Love

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Vic Godard reads Robert Desnos’ Liberty or Love. Art by Brian Gibson.

DESNOS…
In those days, my door was open to mystery.
So speaks the hero of Desnos’ novel: Sanglot the Corsair. Mystery, the marvellous, a city transmuted by Love, Sanglot’s pursuit of the siren Louise Lame, such are the essential ingredients of this the last masterpiece of early surrealism to remain untranslated into English.
It was originally published in 1924 to immediate and lasting acclaim – except from the public authorities who immediately censored whole sections (here restored)
Impossible to describe a novel of such virtuosity, and one which consistently refuses to believe as one expects, characters appear and vanish according to whim or desire, they walk underwater, nonchalantly accept astounding coincidences. It’s a hymn to the rotic, an adventure story darkly illumined by the shades of Sade, Lauteamont and Jack the Ripper, a dream both violent and tender, an obsession, in fact the perfect embodiment of the Surrealist spirit: at once joyful, despairing, and effortlessly scandalous.
Robert Desnos was born in 1900 and was one of the earliest members of the Surrealist group. His remarkable talents first emerged during the ‘Period of Sleeping Fits’ when the group was investigating sub conscious and trance states. Able to put himself in trance at will. ‘Desnos more than any of us got closest to the Surrealist truth’. wrote Breton in the first manifesto.
He died of typhus almost immediately after his liberation from the Nazi death camp of Terezine.
GODARD…
Vic Godard rewrote pop music. He rewrote it for real and placed it on a parallell universe. All the great pop music that we have listened to for the past twenty five years springs directly from his band the Subway Sect. You know we are not talking about the mere charts or hits here. But something else again. Something a touch more existential. In essence he rewrote for the folk who otherwise loved to read obscure French novels, travel to obscure Eastern European states, dance to obscure Northern Soul songs. The outsiders. And for these outsiders he rewrote with thought and perspective and mystery and a whole load of chance. Rewrote it as a great dirty laugh and not some shameful money grubbing fame chasing lie. Rewrote and rewrote. He remains one of the great outsiders. The last time he was in our area which is Stoke Newington, it was to record his great classic album, What’s the Matter Boy, last night he popped in to read Desnos. We have some rather far fetched disco, Vic’s up at the mic, book in hand… We are going to go on a bit of an adventure together, please join us.

DESNOS…

In those days, my door was open to mystery.

sun2026So speaks the hero of Desnos’ novel: Sanglot the Corsair. Mystery, the marvellous, a city transmuted by Love, Sanglot’s pursuit of the siren Louise Lame, such are the essential ingredients of this the last masterpiece of early surrealism to remain untranslated into English.

It was originally published in 1924 to immediate and lasting acclaim – except from the public authorities who immediately censored whole sections (here restored).

Impossible to describe a novel of such virtuosity, and one which consistently refuses to believe as one expects, characters appear and vanish according to whim or desire, they walk underwater, nonchalantly accept astounding coincidences. It’s a hymn to the rotic, an adventure story darkly illumined by the shades of Sade, Lauteamont and Jack the Ripper, a dream both violent and tender, an obsession, in fact the perfect embodiment of the Surrealist spirit: at once joyful, despairing, and effortlessly scandalous.

Robert Desnos was born in 1900 and was one of the earliest members of the Surrealist group. His remarkable talents first emerged during the ‘Period of Sleeping Fits’ when the group was investigating sub conscious and trance states. Able to put himself in trance at will. ‘Desnos more than any of us got closest to the Surrealist truth’ wrote Breton in the first manifesto.

He died of typhus almost immediately after his liberation from the Nazi death camp of Terezine.

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GODARD…

Vic Godard rewrote pop music.

He rewrote it for real and placed it on a parallell universe.

All the great pop music that we have listened to for the past twenty five years springs directly from his band the Subway Sect. You know we are not talking about the mere charts or hits here. But something else again. Something a touch more existential.

In essence he rewrote for the folk who otherwise loved to read obscure French novels, travel to obscure Eastern European states, dance to obscure Northern Soul songs. The outsiders. And for these outsiders he rewrote with thought and perspective and mystery and a whole load of chance. Rewrote it as a great dirty laugh and not some shameful money grubbing fame chasing lie.

Rewrote and rewrote.

He remains one of the great outsiders. The last time he was in our area which is Stoke Newington, it was to record his great classic album, What’s the Matter Boy, last night he popped in to read Desnos. We have some rather far fetched disco, Vic’s up at the mic, book in hand… We are going to go on a bit of an adventure together, please join us.

The recording of this show is available on request.

One Response to Liberty or Love

  1. Emearg Draw says:

    Thanks
    More Vic please less musick