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BALZAC


 

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Title:

Balzac

   

 

 
Type of Media: Periodical.  
Name: Les Maîtres Artistes.1  
Issue:    
Date: 15 October 1903.1  
Publisher:      
Published At: Paris, France.  
Pages:

 

 
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Remarks:

Crowleys two sonnets Rodin and Balzac were translated by Marcel Schwob and published in Les Maîtres Artistes.1

 

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Bibliographic
Sources:
1. Marcel Schwob, Chroniques, Edited by John Alden Green, Librairie Droz S.A., Geneve, 1981, pp. 79-81.  
 

Comments by
Aleister
Crowley:

     While other defenders of Rodin were apologizing for him in detail I brushed aside the nonsense — "a plague o' both your houses!" — and wrote a sonnet, which is, in its way, to conventional criticism exactly what the Balzac was. It was translated into French by Marcel Schwob and made considerable stir in Paris. Even at this length of time, I attach a certain importance to it. For one thing, it marks a new stage in my own art.

BALZAC

     Giant, with iron secrecies ennighted,
     Cloaked, Balzac stands and sees. Immense disdain,
     Egyptian silence, mastery of pain,
     Gargantuan laughter, shake or still the ignited
     Stature of the Master, vivid. Far, affrighted,
     The stunned air shudders on the skin. In vain
     The Master of La Comédie Humaine
     Shadows the deep-set eyes, genius-lighted.

     Epithalamia, birth songs, epitaphs,
     Are written in the mystery of his lips.
     Sad wisdom, scornful shame, grand agony
     In the coffin folds of the cloak, scarred mountains, lie,
     And pity hides i' th' heart. Grim knowledge grips
          The essential manhood. Balzac stands, and laughs.

     The upshot was that Rodin invited me to come and stay with him at Meudon. The idea was that I should give a poetic interpretation of all his masterpieces. I produced a number of poems, many of which I published at the time in the Weekly Critical Review, an attempt to establish an artistic entente cordiale. The entire series constitutes my Rodin in Rime. This book is illustrated by seven often lithographs of sketches which Rodin gave me for the purpose.
     — The Confessions of Aleister Crowley.  New York, NY.  Hill and Wang, 1969.  Page 340.
 
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