Saturday, September 26, 2009

Not André Breton’s Blog: Unique vs. Original

When I came up with the name Soluble Fish, I swear I thought of it on my own. But now that I look around a little more, maybe not.

French Surrealist André Breton wrote a book called Poisson Soluble. I've had a copy of Poems of André Breton
(trans. & ed. by Jean-Pierre Cauvin and Mary Ann Caws; pub. by U of Texas Press) since sometime in college. From the 1994 Kroger receipt serving as a bookmark, I must have read up to page 125, well past the excerpts from Soluble Fish. When I named this blog, I thought I had come up with an interesting, paradoxical name, full of metaphorical potential. (I knew that there used to be a Canadian band with this name, but hey.)

Did part of me "know" about this surrealist tome? Or was my mind able to formulate it on its own, having completely forgotten Poisson Soluble? Was this an independent yet non-unique creation? Or subliminal plagiarism? I'll never know.

Luckily, Breton won't be complaining about it; he died in 1966. I do rather enjoy being linked to the surrealist movement. Like many others, I went through my Salvador Dali stage, but I also expanded into surrealist literature, too. But that was a while ago.

So anyway, thank's André. Here's some of what he wrote:

Avec la musique j'ai lié partie pour une seconde seulement et maintenant je ne sais plus que penser du suicide, car si je veux me séparer do moi-même, la sortie est de ce côté et, j'ajoute malicieusement: l'entrée, le rentrée de cet autre côté. Tu vois ce qu'il te reste à faire. Les heures, le chagrin, je n'en tiens pas un compte raisonnable; je suis seul, je regarde par la fenêtre; il ne passe personne, ou plutôt personne ne passe.

En anglais:

I've kept company with music for a second only and now I no longer know what to think of suicide, for if I want to part from myself, the exit is on this side and, I add mischievously, the entrance, the re-entrance, on the other. You see what you still have to do. The hours, the grief, I don't keep a reasonable account of them; I'm alone, I look out the window; there is no passerby, or rather no one passes.

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