Editorial

 

 

Dear Friends here and around the World,

 

 

Levure littéraire 9

 

 

invites you to discover the creations of its 160 international artists.

 

 

THEME FOR DISCUSSION:

THE DESTINY OF THE ARTIST. Between the « why, » the « because »

and the « I don’t know » – creators / artists wend their ways.

 

 

 

 

Motto : Is our destiny written in the stars? In the wombs of our mothers? In the veins of our fathers? Is destiny fate or else the progression of the psychological disorder that governs us? (rd)

 

 

in the photo: the writer Françoise Hàn, as a child

 

 

Does destiny exists?

 

The question was a thorny one for a few of our writers or artists, but at the same time it provided an opportunity to others to think about their paths as artists or authors.

 

We did not propose this theme in order to find out whether destiny or fate really exist (or not at all or not much or very little independently of us), but to verify if it rests on our shoulders or if it depends on our lives with others. Nor have we proposed this subject to say how heavy a burden this is to carry or to test whether or not we control it!

 

This is not a theme for psychotherapists or psychiatrists, nor for seers or soothsayers either. This is not a biblical theme. This is a generous theme, a great openness to the meandering ways of creators and creation, as an alternative to our brief, brave lives.

 

This leads to a flood of questions:

 

Does destiny begin starting the day we come into the world and end the day when we leave it for good?

 

Is destiny simply a word, a phrase, an act of thought, a game of imagination, a question or an inexplicable explanation?

 

Does the idea of destiny assume that our lives are written or preordained? Yes? Of course not! No? Yes, of course! By whom? Why? And especially with respect to what?

 

The word destiny comes from the Latin destinare, which means to make fast, to attach. However, what exists is not a given destiny to be lived, it is not a thread of life that is frozen, fixed, labelled, but feelings, revelations, premonitions, trends, provocations, profound influences, reflecting our past, our roots, our social setting, our epoch, our mentality, our temperament, etc. Of course, all that weighs on the operation and evolution of our lives, but we have two more important words to say: possibility and will. Through certain efforts we can escape that destiny, which is in reality only the culmination of genetic, family and social influences that we are subjected to from birth…

 

Is our destiny, a symbolic path, a passage, a narrow, unadorned path, a trail, a route, a lane, a direction to take?

 

The answer lies in our brains, hearts and shoulders. Our families, our friends, our encounters help us free ourselves from everything that could be transformed into destiny, or fate, when it means fatality. Chance exists, inequalities exist, but not simple fatality without causes and reasons.

 

In this regard, we can recall the famous Serenity Prayer: « God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

Let’s try to practise the opposite: « God, grant me the serenity not to accept the things I cannot change, the courage not to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know their resemblance, because of their difference in origin and composition! »

 

These two styles of prayers perfectly sum up our efforts as human beings to lead our lives here and now, while leaving the beyond  for later. It is up to us to love, to hate, to not bear or to change our future, to reconstruct it and reconvert it in hope, even though it is never easy.

 

Chamfort, Nerval, Drieu La Rochelle, Montherlant and Romain Gary, Hemingway, Bernanos, Pavese, Kawabata, Deleuze, Gherasim Luca, Tsvetaïeva, Woolf, Zweig, Yukio Mishima, Celan etc… Each year, more than one million individuals commit suicide.

 

How many of us each day take the road of chance? And that of risk? And that of oblivion? And that of ART? And that of the sciences of solitude, of uncertainty, of circumstances, of the great lottery of the unknown, meanings and emotions?

 

Ars est systema præceptorum universalium, verorum, utilium, consentientium, ad unum eumdemque finem tendentium!

 

Art is the system of universal, true, useful teachings shared by everyone, tending toward a single end! – according to Claudius Galen, Greek doctor and philosopher (129-216)

 

How many of us take the path of words, as a pledge, as an act of language and engagement in life, because saying is doing and doing is saying and announcing.

 

Talking, telling, painting, singing, dancing, shouting, poetizing, using our fight, our strokes of luck/bad luck, our imponderability, our ideal as a universal message. How many of us follow the path of art?!

 

Saying and writing in a simple look. Saying and writing from one sign to another, from one silence to another, from one roll of the dice to another, in a single heartbeat. Saying and writing everything in a single stroke, a single word, a single tear, a single shout, a single foot.

 

To draw the path of the artist’s heart. A path to take, like a heart to take, when we are alone and only in the grip of creative solitude, like an upside-down heart, the opposite of common sense!

 

Is the need for a destiny to wear something personal or impersonal? And is our freedom not to be free mixed up with the past of having been our own hope or with the present? Any hope of escaping is in vain. That is what the Ancient Greeks philosophized. For them, life was only a tragedy since the end was waiting for every animate being, each human being. Is there no power to save us? No trail? Even the nicest interior climb? Except, perhaps, the secret, the magic and the harmony of artistic creation.

 

 

Rodica Draghincescu

 

 

Destinies of authors, of artists?

What strange journeys with remarkable destinies!

 

 

 

 

This theme of authors or artists and their destinies is a bit a journey into isolated galaxies, the barrel of the Danaides, the bottomless well, the subject is so broad and varied.

 

Thus I will let myself be guided by the thread of a few fleeting, informal thoughts.

 

Moreover, while it was not planned in the editing of Levure littéraire, this theme is very much in keeping with the Musée d’Orsay (Paris) and this remarkable exhibition: « The Man Suicided by Society, » devoted to Antonin Artaud’s gaze on the work and life of Vincent van Gogh. We can discover there rare, magnificent works by Vincent van Gogh through the eyes of Antonin Artaud that, given their shared psychiatric experiences, takes quite a personal and pertinent look at the work of that stigmatized painter. We discover links and ties between those brothers in despair. Two lives, two tragedies, but also two rare artistic heritages of high intensity. Both of them combined art and dramaturgy.

 

Vincent van Gogh will remain alone in his wheat field facing a flock of crows and Antonin Artaud, sacrificed for eternity:

 

 « With your eyes like a blocked ring Antonin

 Like a damned spring…. /… »

 

As written by René Guy Cadou, who in turn died in a hospital bed eaten away by non life.

 

There are endless streams of poets or artists, the damned, drugged, hanged, quartered, burned too soon, imprisoned, placed on the prisoner’s dock and stood up against the wall of society.

 

It is something like a little ordinary insanity.

 

Impossible to list all those extradited by a well-meaning, moralistic system, all those broken destinies. Games of destiny or auto-suggestion effects? Marginalized or atrophied spirits?

 

I will simply give a few names of writers and artists come that spontaneously to mind.

 

In the distance I perceive François Villon who after prison after prison perhaps ended up on a gallows. And another brother in misery, Rutebeuf, the poet of satire and misfortunes of life, what became of you, poor Rutebeuf?

 

And that unfortunate André Chénier who was arrested by accident, imprisoned and guillotined. Thank you arbitrary revolutionary justice!

 

Hardly more enviable, Gérard de Nerval, who would end his role in poetry under the pale light of a streetlamp swinging gently from the end of a rope.

 

Arthur Rimbaud was taken away while still very young by a cancerous tumor in his knee. The decision to amputate came too late. And his associate Paul Verlaine, worn down by all kinds of excess, would be taken away by pulmonary congestion.

 

I am also thinking of Robert Desnos who refused the entanglements and weight of the system and who died in a concentration camp, a dramatic irony of fate. With regard to concentration camps, how not to think of painter Zoran Mušič and sculptor Shlomo Selinger, who were found at the last moment among the corpses when their camps were liberated by American soldiers. As well as our poor Max Jacob, who died of exhaustion in the Drancy camp for lack of medical care and for whom Jean Cocteau alone did everything in his power to have released, but sadly too late.

 

Pablo Picasso found nothing to say but a phrase such as: « Max is an angel, he will free himself…/… » He must have forgotten that he had stayed with Max Jacob for a long time and that Jacob had even worked as civil servant so that Picasso could continue painting.

 

A little closer to us, other images emerge from the mists of memory and here is painter Nicolas de Staël at the summit of his fame who fell from high on his terrace, an accident or a deliberate act? Nor should we forget Mark Rothko. His works had grown darker and darker and he was finally found lying among them in a pool of blood.

 

Frida Kahlo also went through her life as a ravaged soul, damned, imprisoned in a mutilated body.

 

Poet Ilarie Voronca, who crossed the invisible never to return.

 

All these tortured souls went through life the way you venture into a desert with the illusion of a single drop of water as your only sustenance.

 

What were they looking for, the absolute as another light with passion as their fatal fruit.

 

And that unfortunate Joé Bousquet cut down by a treacherous bullet in the trenches of horror and absurdity that immobilized him in bed for life.

 

The list is inexhaustible, but one thing is certain, they all burned with the fires of passion on the strange pyres of inexplicable destiny.

 

Perhaps they found another silence, other dreams?

 

Those shooting stars searching for utopia crossed their centuries, mutilated by the irony of life, with that eternal thirst for the absolute.

 

« The absolute, that wing before it is clipped. » as the poet and painter Roger Milliot said before sinking into the murky waters of the Seine. That universal, « Gnostic » water as he wrote.

 

All these poets, artists, creators have gathered bouquets of nausea, disgust for a society that has walled in their screams and obscured their prophetic visions, whose only company in their deep loneliness was the presence of death.
 

 

TRANSLATION: HOWARD SCOTT (MONTREAL)

 

 

Michel Bénard


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

________________________________________________________

 

Intended as a ethical and aesthetic ferment, Levure is a space for creative initiatives and thoughts, without financial support, without hegemonic pretences, which favours the quality and originality of the constructive Act of Culture. In these times of economic crisis, and particularly of extreme moral crisis, when Peace, Education and Culture are being marginalized, since it is no longer in fashion to cultivate humanism, Levure persists in seeking with you the path to a secret bridge, toward a peaceful place conducive to meditation, beyond the barbarity and vulgarity of everyday life. With the intention of remaining in the tradition of the universal spirit of the Enlightenment!

 

A journal of information and education, Levure brings to your computer screens, 4 times a year, out-of-the-ordinary authors (50 to 100 per issue), themes and topics that are dealt with, tackled or exploited less often, agents and actors from the entire sociocultural spectrum (literature, visual arts, music, philosophy, ethnology, journalism, psycholinguistics, etc. – which by presenting countries and traditions, horizons rich in differences and similarities, likenesses, enrich us as they fascinate us. Through its thematic diversity, and through an impressive number of cultural players, Levure offers us and you a choice of many languages, sensibilities, tastes, needs for reading and information.

 

« Does saying that the other is my fellow being mean they are like me? »

 

In the Languages section, with its English title, you will find the source (maternal) languages, as well as the target languages (translations) of our collaborators, other than French, which is considered the basic language of this publication.

 

Levure littéraire no. 7 contains poetry, stories, excerpts from novels, pages from journals, literary essays, book reviews, traditional and philosophical tales, articles on psychoanalysis, painting, drawings, collages, sculpture, theatrical and cinematographic performances, music (jazz, rock, pop, folk, etc.), information related to international cultural events.

 

With the help of all the participants, we try to maintain and stimulate humanist exchange.

 

Our goal: reveal new authors, promote knowledge and the success of known authors, and give the perspectives of those who are at odds.

 

Culture helps us to better control and balance our destiny. Let us dare share it with the Others – Authors, those « strangers, » « soul thieves, » who always intrigue us a little… Let us recognize the identity of the Other, with their differences, while respecting their language, their traditions, their work and their culture.

 

Let us take part in the sharing of the innovative and liberating ideas of our cultures. Let us disrupt the manoeuvring of those who orchestrate the final fall of culture and society by maintaining insidiously its degradation for reasons as treacherous as they are Machiavellian and shameful.

 

Let us cultivate friendship! And friendship-love! To feed on culture is to live in harmony in the house of BEING, travel, migrate in artists’ frigates toward those « terra incognita » countries where unexpected Ways & Voices await us, with our hearts in offering.

 

 

Levure littéraire was created especially for all these talented people who have remained anonymous nationally or internationally, without connections, and without real possibilities of accessing fame…

 

Our journal has become multilingual precisely for those countries where the languages and cultures are ignored (forgotten in favour of the law of the offshore nabob and « group think »).

 

Without indulging in politics, we fight against those cultural predators who preach, arms crossed, mouths and pockets full, (the abolition) of culture. We condemn the lack of patronage and the cutting of culture budgets, and we denounce the perversion of the linguistic, human, aesthetic and ethical behaviours of our 21st century.

 

Let us protect art, while practising it with talent and confidence. Let us make art, while defending it with refinement and intelligence. Art has always helped us resist, to evolve with dignity, to love the world, and to believe in a better world. Art does not kill anyone. On the contrary, it elevates humanity. Let us not kill it, please! Let us not make it the subject of wild, sterile speculations and transform it into a mundane commercial product. The international art « business » … is not our art, but ANTIART, the « art » of diverting artists and their cultures from their paths and destinies! We refuse through art the immoral and suicidal laws of the « golden boys »!

 

Being contemporary does not mean adopting any crisis of the moment with its tides and whirlpools, without reflection, without both collective and selective consciousness. You have to belong to your epoch with lucidity, vigilance and perspicacity, while keeping a good distance, with spatial and temporal space, to better curtail troubles in the making. The contemporary does not substitute the present for the past. It seeks what the present contains in its future to come… without ignoring, however, the original foundations.

 

This latest issue of our journal will remain faithful to the positive energy it has shown since the beginning with respect to inventive creation. Quality content, in the face of the aggressiveness and vulgarity of the current world of politics that is monopolizing the stage in the media.

 

 

 

 

Rodica Draghincescu,
Literary director

Translator: Howard Scott