Monday, June 15, 2009

Treasure hunt in an island of books

I went to Damme last Sunday. The town organises a book fair every second Sunday. Not much to find on the market, all mass products and residues of an obsessive-compulsive society (and it's a pity for all those trees). But I ended up in a little bookshop I hadn't noticed before, a bit remote from the main road.

The first book I discovered was "Encyclopédie des farces et attrapes et des mystifications" by two highly respected pataphysians, François Caradec (recently deceased) and Noël Arnaud. I didn't buy it yet a it's quite rare, hence it has a rather high pricetag. But I intend to go back. This thick book is a magnificent collection of hoaxes through the history by two erudite writers.

What I did buy though, is a French translation of Ezra Pound's "The Chinese written character as a medium for poetry" based on Ernest Fenollosa's writings. These were Pound's starting point for his ideogrammatic or ideogrammic method.

Oh, and I was happy to get my hands on a Cahier du Collège de 'Pataphysique from 1955 (from clinamen 82 E.P.) almost for a giveaway price. With a text by the founder Vice-curator Dr. Irénée-Louis Sandomir. And Raymond Queneau drawing the french language like digestive systems, and one theatre piece of Ionesco I hadn't heard of, "l'Avenir est dans les Oeufs". Yummy.

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