This lovely book was picked up during my recent trip to France. I saw it and couldn't leave it behind!
Robert Desnos (4 July 1900 – 8 June 1945) is a famous writer in France, and his poems are often used in schools, especially primary schools. But he was much, much more than that and had a fascinating career cut short by an early, tragic end.
He was associated with the Dada and Surrealist movements (he was considered a surrealist writer) and was a literary, jazz and cinema critic, playwright, scriptwriter (including for Man Ray's 1928 film L'Etoile de Mer), magazine editor, essay writer and more... He knew all the painters, artists and writers who mattered in Paris and beyond.
During WWII, he was a member of the French Resistance and was arrested in 1944. He died in the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1945.
This is a poetry collection with a long history. The first manuscript, named Chantefables à chanter sur n'importe quel air, was presented as a manuscript by the author to his publisher, Grund, in 1944, the very same year he was arrested by the Gestapo.
In 1952, Grund published Chantefleurs and Chantefables separately followed in 1955 by the "definitive" edition of Chanteflables et Chantefleurs with around twenty "found" "chantefleurs" texts.
This edition, illustrated by Czech artist Ludmila Jiřincová (1912-1994), was first published in 1970 - this is the second edition, published in 1972.
It will be available to buy in 2023 in our new Etsy online bookshop! Watch this space!
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