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By Freeman Dyson

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« Désâmé », c’est du Desbiens typique et classique. Un lecteur familier y retrouvera des effets vus ailleurs, assonances, comparaisons, buildings syntaxiques en parallèle, mots fétiches même.

L’originalité de ce recueil réside dans l. a. nuance nouvelle des thèmes et photographs obsédants. Une originalité troublante de vérité. Mine de rien, parmi d’autres thèmes, celui de l. a. mort qui s’y profile, et los angeles sienne entrevue de bien plus près qu’avant. À ce thème s’allie, un peu plus appuyée, sa pratique de los angeles poésie : rapports entre le poète et los angeles poésie, entre le poème et los angeles gangue de vie dont il s’extrait.

« Ce titre, Désâmé, indique en tous cas assez clairement que l’expérience de désenchantement et de désœuvrement (de déréliction ? ) qui suscite le poème touche aux fibres de l’être. Peut-être davantage, ici, que dans ses précédents opus, cette expérience en est une d’écriture, Desbiens élaborant dans l. a. première partie de son livre, judicieusement intitulée « Italiques », un artwork poétique aussi humble que malicieux, aussi désarmé que désarmant :

J’écris à los angeles main
j’écris sur du pain
sans savoir
de quelle encre
le beurrer.

Je ne sais pas
de quel poème
vient le poème. »

« Voix et photos », no. 7

Extra resources for Bombs and Poetry

Example text

She was laughing and singing with joy. I asked her why she didn’t like the number 703, since it looked to me like a perfectly good prime. ” With that there could be no argument. So I knew that even the most alien intelligence has something in common with us. Her prime numbers are the same as ours. One more public glimpse of Elly was provided by her father, showing her a little later at a crucial stage in her search for meaning. ” They described a marvelously elaborate and abstract scheme by which Elly at that time attached numbers to her emotions and to the comings and goings of the sun and moon.

There are no magic weapons. But there are good as well as bad military technologies. A good military technology is one which leads away from weapons of mass destruction toward weapons which allow people to defend their homeland against invasion without destroying it. The technology of precision-guided muni- 118 The Tanner Lectures on Human Values tions is good in this sense. It is reasonable to imagine a hopeful evolution of affairs in Europe, with the technology evolving away from nuclear weapons toward precision-guided non-nuclear weapons, and with the political authorities evolving away from Assured Destruction toward Live-and-Let-Live.

Happy endings still exist, of course. But they have lost their ancient legitimacy . . They awaken an automatic distrust . . And so for the first time since the beginning of our literature there is no major artistic mode to affirm the experience of comedy: healing, restoration, winning through . . It is a grand claim we make when we reject happy endings: that we are very special, that whatever songs previous ages could sing, in our terrible century all success is shallow or illusory, all prosperity a fairy-tale; that the only responses to our world which command adult assent are compulsive ironies and cries of pain; that the world which seems to lie before us like a world of dreams, so various, so beautiful, so new, hath, in short, really neither joy nor love nor light, nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain, and we are here as on a darkling plain waiting for Godot.

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