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What Forms Can DoThe Work of Form in 20th- and 21st- Century French Literature and Thought$
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Patrick Crowley and Shirley Jordan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789620658

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789620658.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

‘Fixé par les cris des hirondelles au vol géométrique du désir’ (Picasso, 7 June 1936)

‘Fixé par les cris des hirondelles au vol géométrique du désir’ (Picasso, 7 June 1936)

Patterns and Permutations in Picasso’s Writing

(p.23) Chapter One ‘Fixé par les cris des hirondelles au vol géométrique du désir’ (Picasso, 7 June 1936)
What Forms Can Do

Peter Read

Liverpool University Press

 Between 1935 and 1939, Picasso wrote nearly 350 prose poems, mainly in French, revealing, according to André Breton, his ‘besoin d’expression totale’, driven, according to Tristan Tzara, by his “‘imagination torrentielle’. This chapter seeks to explore and appreciate the creative tension in Picasso’s prose poems between irrepressibly inventive improvisation and a complementary tendency to connect and orchestrate, through the use of multifarious patterns and serial permutations. These formal qualities reveal and emphasise the writer’s personal and political desires and preoccupations. Threads of symmetry and anaphora in Picasso’s literary manuscripts, sometimes extending from one text into others over long periods of time, invite comparison with similarly continuous lines of graphic experimentation in his sketchbooks, confirming the intergeneric persistence and consistency of his creative impulses and strategies. 

Keywords:    Picasso, literature, prose poems, freedom, control, sketchbooks, Reverdy, Desnos

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