Jan 26 2012: Guillaume Apollinaire, Poet of Mystification (from M.D. Magazine, March 1967)
Not much to add to this anonymously authored article on the life and work of the French modernist poet (arguably the primary initiator of Modernist poetics in France) Guillaume Apollinaire, whose Calligrammes, Alcools, Zone and other works proved key to the twentieth century’s future development and remain essential reading to anyone interested in the possibilities of poetry itself, in any language (and not just poetry – my favourite anecdote here concerns Apollinaire’s habit of filing entirely fictional news stories at Paris-Midi during the First World War, while charged with translating dispatches from English newspapers: “There is no better way to influence events”, he is supposed to have suggested when caught in the act). The illustrated piece here, taken from the March 1967 issue of a luxuriously produced American journal aimed at doctors, M.D. Magazine, is reproduced in its entirety in the gallery below. It’s also worth noting that Beverley Bie Brahic’s new translations of a selection from Apollinaire’s work in the years after 1914, The Little Auto (CB Editions, £7.99), appeared only this month. If you’re looking for a starting point, this fresh gathering would be as good a place as any to sample the man’s extraordinary work.