My Body and I by Rene CrevelMy Body and I by Rene Crevel

My Body and I

byRene CrevelTranslated byRobert Bononno

Paperback | May 2, 2005

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In My Body and I (Mon Corps et Moi, 1925), René Crevel attempts to trace with words the geography of a being. Exploring the tension between body and spirit, Crevel’s meditation is a vivid personal journey through illusion and disillusion, secret desire, memory, the possibility and impossibility of life, sensuality and sexuality, poetry, truth, and the wilderness of the imagination. The narrator’s Romantic mind moves from evocative tales and sensations to frank confessions, making the reader a confidant to this great soul trapped in an awkward-fitting body. A Surrealist Proust.
René Crevel (1900–1935) was deeply involved with the Surrealist movement. Novelist, poet, and essayist, Crevel was an explorer of the psyche. My Body and I allows us to enter the writer’s inner landscape that led to his suicide at the age of 35. Crevel’s English publications include Babylon (North Point Press, 1985), Putting My Foot in...
Title:My Body and IFormat:PaperbackDimensions:145 pages, 6.3 × 5.5 × 0.38 inPublished:May 2, 2005Publisher:Steerforth PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0974968099

ISBN - 13:9780974968094

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Read from the Book

Yet it was solitude alone that I sought so desperately in the theaters, where the red velvet on the seats for months seemed to me the very color of boredom. Solitude alone I searched for in the streets, when the houses at the end of day grew bright for new temptations, their stone blouses a com- plicated pattern twisted into unreality.I entered places where people dance and drink, greedy for alcohol, for jazz, for anything that intoxicates, and got drunk, indifferent to what I heard, danced and drank, but happy to hear, to dance, to drink, so I might forget the others who had confined me but had not yet saved me. Yes, I remember. Two in the morning. The bar is tiny. And very hot. The door opens. Cool air at last! Someone says hello. A hand pats my shoulder. I am happy, not for the voice, not for the hand, but the air that has surprised me is so soft.I say hello to the coolness, without having need of the words human creatures make use of for their greetings. Unfortunately, there is more than just cool air that has taken advantage of the open door. I had forgotten about my fellow men. Some human creature is trying to get me to remember who it is. It insists, we embrace. Decorum is needed—this is where the simulacra take shape. "Hello, mind clothed in a body." I like the expression, repeat it. The mind is indeed like that. I would like to recreate the purity of a chess player, not renounce joy but live, act, take pleasure in thought. No human contact has ever prevented me from feeling alone. So what’s the point of dirtying my hands? The pleasures (?) of the flesh are over with.

Editorial Reviews

This is an astonishing capture of Crevel’s most memorable text: funny, sad, spilling over, and impossible to put down. —Mary Ann Caws Without René Crevel we would have lost one of the most beautiful pillars of Surrealism. —André Breton Crevel remains one of the most readable Surrealists. —Publishers Weekly Crevel was born rebellious the way others are born with blue eyes. —Philippe Soupault He will be read more and more as the wind carries away the ashes of the ‘great names’ that preceded him. —Ezra Pound Crevel actually wrote only a single sentence: the long sentence of a feverish monologue from the pen of a Proust who dipped his biscuit laced with LSD into his tea, instead of the unctuous madeleine. —Angelo Rinaldi, L'Express The works that Crevel left us indicate that he was one of the most original, gifted French novelists of the century. —San Francisco Bay Guardian Crevel remains one of the most readable Surrealists...His liquid language tumbles along, powered by his strong descriptions, by his love of Freudian wordplay—rarely is a cigar just a cigar. —Publishers Weekly