Black Mirror (The Selected Poems of Roger Gilbert-Lecomte). Roger Gilbert-Lecomte, Antonin Artaud.
Black Mirror (The Selected Poems of Roger Gilbert-Lecomte)
Black Mirror (The Selected Poems of Roger Gilbert-Lecomte)

Black Mirror (The Selected Poems of Roger Gilbert-Lecomte)

Barrytown, NY: Station Hill Press, 1991. First Edition Thus. Softcover. "The visionary, sardonic, often outrageous poems in this bilingual edition represent the first presentation in English of the Work of Roger Gilbert-Lecomte (1907-1943). With Rene Daumal [and Roger Vailland] he was founder of the literary movement and magazine 'Le Grand Jeu' (1928-32), the essence of which he defined as "the impersonal instant of eternity in emptiness," a phrase of such dissociative intrigue as to send the reader into a five-minute philosophical tangent, quizzically contemplating the possible meanings. As Translator David Rattray (1946-1993) notes in his enlightening Introduction to this here work, it was in 1933 that Roger Gilbert-Lecomte self-published a volume titled "La Vie l'Amour la Mort le Vide et le Vent" (translated as 'Life Love Death Void and Wind'). Upon its publication, the book was greeted with 'a loud silence' by not only the reading public but the bulk of his contemporaries, alike. The lone exception to this is what makes the notable "Foreword" of this book: a celebratory chorus of praise that came directly from one of Gilbert-Lecomte's literary kin, the beloved junkie surrealist Antonin Artaud. Shortly after the publication of Gilbert-Lecomte's "Life Love Death Void and Wind," Artaud came across his disjointed, spellbinding work, becoming understandably enthusiastic about his poetry. Artaud felt compelled enough to compose a review of the book, published in the French literary journal "Nouvelle Revue Francaise," and it's that very review which makes for the excellent Foreword to this collection, "Black Mirror." Gilbert-Lecomte's self-destructive embrace of (his and Daumal's) addiction-dependent Gonzo Theology proved an unsustainable endeavor for them both. Daumal died of tuberculosis (and complications resultant from his capricious and prolific use of psychoactive chemicals, including carbon tetrachloride) at age 36 in May of 1944. Gilbert-Lecomte, a lifelong morphine addict, died on December 31, 1943 in a Paris hospital. The immediate conditions surrounding his untimely death (also at age 36, like his friend and collaborator, Daumal) involved tetanus contracted by the repeated, unthinking use of a dirty needle. Softcover Original/First Edition Thus of this lost classic, despite not being explicated as such on copyright page; the first and only printing of the Station Hill Press reissue of Gilbert-Lecomte's doomed classic. From the collection of Erin Black Matson, the late artist-poet who with her then-husband, the acclaimed poet & educator Clive Matson, were bona fide members of the Beat Generation as it morphed into the hippie counterculture during the 1960s. The Matsons were colleagues-protégés (in lifestyle as much as literature) of Herbert Huncke, Bonnie Bremser et al. The condition befits its long ownership & use by Erin, who was a tried-&-true Beat-Bohemian to the very end. Book in near fine condition with only slight-to-moderate shelf-wear, tiny bumps to fine-edges & corners; slightly more pronounced (albeit mostly flattened) bump-crease to top right-hand corner of front cover; corresponding small bump at top left-hand corner of back cover; price sticker from bookstore at which Erin initially obtained the title in 1991 on lower right-hand corner of same. Near Fine. [Item #4785]

Price: $30.00