Heir of symbolism, father of surrealism, extraordinary verbal inventor, Léon-Paul Fargue reveals himself to be a visionary in his prose poems. He calls High Solitude a “diorama of states of the soul.”
In this work, originally published in 1941, Fargue revives both the night of prehistoric times and that of the end of the world. And, between the two, this fantastic universe also: the Paris that he so loved and of which he was the unforgettable Piéton. Paris, whose secret geography he traces, in the company of the ghosts of those who were dear to him. The Paris of white nights, stations, and cafes.
But every road, every street, leads to this high, unique place: solitude. “I work at my solitude, searching to guide it in the sea of insomnia where the long line of the dead has thrown us...”
Fargue taught us to sublimate everyday life and make the highest poetry out of it.
— Max Jacob
There is an unknown demon within Fargue that seems to drive him to the most audacious comparisons, in which he makes use of animals, cathedrals, or monsters to castigate the moral squalor of his day. It is a matter of pure poetry, an agility of spirit that leads him ceaselessly to find resemblances or associations for everything his eyes fall on.
— André Beucler
There are so many different individuals in Léon-Paul Fargue, so many secrets, so many torturous byways, so many personalities (and each one of them so complex), that half a dozen critics would hardly suffice to sum him up. — Edmond Jaloux
High Solitude (2023)
Translated by Rainer J. Hanshe
Our other Hanshe books include:
Shattering the Muses, The Abdication, and the translations High Solitude, The Creativity of the Crisis, Paris Spleen, Belgium Stripped Bare, Conversations in the Pyrenees, Innocent, Army of Shadows, My Heart Laid Bare, and Marginalia on Casanova (introduction). As editor and introducer: Fragments, Towards the One & Only Metaphor, Plays with Films.