Introduction

 
 

Cultural Friendship

 

The best friends are friends of a person (I, you, he, she) with whom a person (she, he, you, I) has formed connections (heart-strings ), special penchants that go beyond typical, ordinary relationships, that link her or him to other friends of the person, making more friends and groups of friends (hearts at play).

 

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Taslima Nasreen (Bangladesh-USA) & RD (F), Centre Pompidou, Metz, France 2011

 

Friendship cultivates feelings of empathy, mutual encouragement, support,

 

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Pascal Didier (F), RD (F), Taslima Nasreen (USA), Brigitte Albertus (F), Centre Pompidou, Metz, France 2011

 

altruism, enduring solidarity. In its pure state, friendship is unconditional.

 

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Linda Maria Baros (F), Aurel Maria Baros (Ro), Dorothea Fleiss (De), RD (F), Metz, France, 2006


Friendship goes beyond individual and worldly values. It should not be influenced by the passage of time. It is a state of mind, a state of soul, the fruit of the serene mind that unites people, that makes them stronger and more open to the mysteries of life. Selective empathy is not limited to couples in love and friendship. It can also represent communication between cultures. Friendship from this point of view would be synonymous with what the Ancient Greeks called philanthropy, a love of sharing our lives.

 

 

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RD (F), Marie-Christine Vincent (F), Dorothea Fleiss (De), Jean-Luc Kockler (F), Metz, France 2006

 

Let us live in friendship! Friendship is affection, affiliation and salvation, mutual feelings between people who are not members of the same biological family. The friends never put each other down, never gossip about or judge each other.

 

In Ancient Greece, friendship was manifested in before and after discourse, relationships between people that shared the same likings, the same appetites, the same ideas and vocations, without these leanings being sectarian, dogmatic, restricted, limited, egoistical. The Greek philosophers said that only constant talking together could unite the citizens in a polis, a city of peace and protective wisdom. Dialogue illustrated the political and cultural importance of friendship (all politics was a form of culture of the Politikos and its Politeia, a developed, organized society, with its laws and customs); all culture was imprinted with Politika, or the political art of each polis (city) and its relationship to the actual life of the community. The dialogue of Ancient Greece was distinguished from private conversations in which individuals talked about the pain of love or individual joys!

 

The dialogue of the Greek philosophers taught men not to fall into the savagery of war, to talk, to weigh the pros and cons, together, to discuss, to create places and l ines of creative communication, and of philanthropic sharing.

 

Talking together means discussing, conversing, conferring, chatting. Anything that cannot become a topic of dialogue, conversation and reason can very well in one night turn horrible or mysterious, find a way and a means, gruesome ones, to make oneself heard in the world (in the sense of resonating, exploding), in a rather inhuman dimension, fatally inhuman. However atrociously the things of the world affect us, however tragically they influence us, move us and stimulate us, they will be fought against and brought to heel through our dialogues. By expounding on them, by conversing with each other, we thrash things out.

 

Dialogue means thinking in tandem, following a thought beyond the words that explain it (dialogos: from dia, through and logos, word), following and understanding the other. Following implies the idea of grasping…

 

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Camille Aubaude (F), Philippe Krebbs (F), RD (F), Fernando Arrabal (F-Es), Metz, France 2006

 

So let us cultivate, practice openness to dialogue, to talking together, to communicating better in our lives! Let us humanize what is happening in the world, by talking to each other, and thus learn to be generous of mind, to share the world with others. We have to confront all forms of alienation and the extremes of destructive negativism!

 

CULTURAL FRIENDS

 

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ADONIS (F), RD (F), Dornbirn, Autriche/Austria 2006

 

FRIENDSHIP, AFFINITIES, AFFECTIVITIES

 

Friendship is the perfect form of altruism. This latest issue of Levure littéraire (no. 3) is devoted to a few groups of friends (writers, philosophers, journalists, sociologists, ethnologists, painters, musicians, photographers and other artists), so they can introduce to us, with joy and pride, their own friends, creators from every corner of the globe, people with affinities for each other, and who are connected through fruitful solidarity! They find themselves together, in geographic or cultural kinships, enticed by the same social values, the same tastes and aesthetic criteria, the same emotional supports. These groups show us what connects them and what differentiates them in their friendly collaboration. For our readers, they are sharing their similarities and coincidences, their successes and expectations. There is nothing puerile or perilous or passé or pointless in giving a hand to others, in looking upon your colleagues with love and consideration! There is nothing corny about still talking about friendship in the 21st century, about introducing our friends, long-time or new, about saying something nice about the people who help us keep our heads on our shoulders and our hearts in the right place!

 

How did we conceive, compose and assemble this cultural project on friendship? How did we bring together these little families of friends? What networks did we use? Nothing other than the natural paths of cultural friendship that have been created between our publication and our collaborators, between our friends and the friends of our friends (linking loving souls).

 

We invited our collaborators/friends to take part in creating Levure littéraire no. 3.  They, in turn, launched and projected into this project their own friends, people close to them (or not ) who embody their families of artists, people who share their tastes, reasons, ideals, and passions. By joining hands, by appearing together, they have shown through their words and acts, their collaborations and finitudes, their exchanges and sharings, what they have known together, culturally speaking, over the years. A big « Yes! » was exclaimed to friendship, to teamwork, to group projects, and to the synergy of communication, to inexhaustible, viable, permanent dialogue.

 

In this way, groups of friends came together, all kinds, of every gender, from many countries, from many geographic cultures. Together – to better preserve, defend and safeguard a noble cause: friendship through and beyond words!

 

Issue 3 of Levure littéraire is offering you, in harmony, a kind of quintessence, a concentrated sample of contemporary cultural friendship. By clicking on the links recommended to you by this or that group of friends, you will come to know the imaginary worlds of many artists/friends. These are groups of creators from here (France) and elsewhere (Germany, Austria, the USA, Spain, Congo, Romania, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Canada, etc.), who have submitted to our attention, ethnic information, aesthetic criteria, a community, and, at the same time, a diversity of ideas, a vision of humanity and of art (in general). They have set in motion, together, and separately, different individualities, a multitude of movements, schools, structures and sociocultural dimensions, to offer us a direct, effective approach to the links and sharings woven between those lands of artists. All done with the awareness that the help or attention given to another at one moment can come back to us later.

 

Levure littéraire is intended as a guide to inventive friendship. The main idea is to fruitfully unite people with talent, aptitudes, and incredible capacities – in an intercultural dialogue and not in an artefact, not in a product of forced globalization!

 

Even though, for some time, geographic borders have been becoming almost virtual, another form of boundary persists, a delimitation, a delicate, ignored or neglected line: that of cultural diversity.

 

Its place in human relationships is very important, because when it is not taken into account, when it is managed poorly, then the tensions and frustrations it creates can lead to intolerance, and even withdrawal into one’s own identity or community, to racism, or more generally to what could be called « group egoism, » that is, « ethnocentrism, » extreme nationalism.

Let us struggle with every means at our disposal against all forms of mass egotism, racism and misogyny! That is the slogan of this new issue of our publication. The groups of friends of Levure littéraire are thus committing themselves, through intercultural friendship, to understanding, from one country to another, from one friend to another, from « I » to « us, » similarities and differences, to finding in those similarities and differences a common source of human richness.

 

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RD, Jean Orizet, Camille Aubaude, Lilac, Metz, France 2006

 

This issue on the friendship and solidarity of artists, is intended to reveal analogous coincidences, in order to better understand our differences and our similarities, to better educate us on tolerance and love for our fellow beings, to live peace with others.

 

How do we discover the friendship of these groups of artists?

Also in this issue of our quarterly publication, guests of honour will help us discover their friends. Through a few links (to be clicked), each symbolizing an author/guest (and her or his friends), arrows and virtual paths will be created for you, dear readers. You will follow serenely in the footsteps of our friends and collaborators and their groups of friends.

 

Reasons? To launch writers and artists who are less well known, but talented, revisit and reapproach those that are well known, reread and rehear the music of languages and voices, fight against the forced solitude, isolation, alienation, sickness, doubt, lack of opportunity, violence and intolerance suffered by the modern individual.

 

 

Rodica Draghincescu

Editor-in-chief

English translation by Howard Scott (Montreal, Canada)

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