By Jed Perl

Antoine Watteau, essentially the most mysterious painters who ever lived, is the foundation for this pleasant research of the tangled courting among paintings and lifestyles. Weaving jointly ancient truth and private reflections, the influential paintings critic Jed Perl reconstructs the superb tale of this pioneering bohemian artist who, even supposing he died in 1721, while he used to be in basic terms thirty-six, has stimulated innumerable painters and writers within the centuries since—and whose paintings keeps to deepen our realizing of where that love, friendship, and enjoyment have in our day-by-day lives.

Perl creates an spectacular adventure by way of collecting his reflections in this “master of silken surfaces and elusive emotions” within the type of an alphabet—a fairy story for adults—giving us a brand new method to take into consideration paintings. This significant university of a publication is a hunt for the treasure of Watteau’s lifestyles and imaginative and prescient that encompasses the glamour and intrigue of eighteenth-century Paris, the riotous background of Harlequin and Pierrot, and the paintings of such sleek giants as Cézanne, Picasso, and Samuel Beckett.

By turns somber and beguiling, analytical and impressionistic, Antoine’s Alphabet reaffirms the modern relevance of the best of all painters of younger love and imperishable desires. it's a booklet to appreciate, to percentage, to come back to back and again.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Additional info for Antoine's Alphabet: Watteau and His World

Sample text

La parole s’établit ainsi comme la recherche de son propre dépassement, le poème vit de son échec (relatif) face au monde. La création poétique (par opposition à l’individuation par la théorie) ne saurait par conséquent se replier sur une simple fiction d’identité, voire de volonté pure. C’est une distinction capitale qu’on voit très fortement à l’œuvre dans la carrière postérieure au Grand Jeu de Daumal et de Gilbert-Lecomte, ceux qui épaulaient Desnos en 1928. Gilbert-Lecomte meurt dans un quasi-silence à la fin de 1943, passé depuis presque une décennie à l’autre rive de l’inspiration qui avait fait de lui la première voix poétique du groupe.

Kelly Qui joue gros vise juste, et l’exigence de Daumal, GilbertLecomte et leurs camarades est de nature à faciliter tous les éloignements, à diagnostiquer tous les égarements. Il s’agirait d’une logique de radicalisation lisible – si l’on décide de la lire ainsi – en termes d’une entrée en position dominée dans le champ littéraire ou plus largement intellectuel, où les habitus – pour se servir d’une terminologie bien connue12 – ont leurs spécificités : « Qui perd gagne. Car il s’agit de se perdre.

Je l’ai entendue. J’ai senti son parfum et parfois même elle m’a touché. 38 Couched in these trenchant terms, Desnos’s argument might seem to rest upon a materialist assumption of the primacy of sensation as the measure of the real. Without wanting to delve into philosophical niceties, I would suggest that it is equally indebted to a current of idealist thought which sees the world of perception as co-extensive with mental life. As Fichte and Schelling would have said, subjectivity embraces the outer world to establish parity between inner and outer reality.

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