Sunday, October 1, 2023

A Test Post

 This blog's been inactive for awhile, but it may need to be revived, since the main mOnocle-Lash website is becoming untenable – this is merely a technical test to see whether blogger can host links to purchase mOnocle-Lash releases; feel free to ignore (though IF it works, you CAN buy the Expanded 2nd Edition of Pétrus Borel's Lycanthropy via this link...)

Sunday, September 6, 2015

For Sept. 2015: Joseph Bouchardy, "The Garrick Remedy." trans. Talia Felix.

We are in the final stages of preparing for publication the chapbook, "The Garrick Remedy"--the first text to my knowledge ever to appear in English by Bouzingo co-founder, Joseph Bouchardy, translated by Talia Felix.

Trained as an engraver in England under William Reynolds, Bouchardy turned to playwriting, and produced many popular melodramas full of deception, disguise, double-crossing, violence, and convoluted, labyrinthine plots often taking place in labyrinthine settings.

This story was written on the cusp of Bouchardy's switch from engraving to drama, and besides being a droll tale that swings the reader back and forth between wistful sentiment and disillusioned irony, it also sheds some interesting light on Romanticist attitudes toward theatre, history, and the blending of life and art.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Feb. Update!!!

mOnocle-Lash has been silent but not idle this winter, and are ready to announce the release of five new publications (including one at 1,000 pages in three volumes!), plus some new distro material.

Go to the mOnocle-Lash Website:

While many of these are perfect-bound and not available for trade because they must be ordered through the printer online, all except the TLP are available as free downloads as well. I've been trying a few different printers; Avant the Avant-Garde is through CreateSpace and seems to be available only through Amazon at present; the others are through Lulu. The storefront page for all mOnocle-Lash publications printed by Lulu is HERE. Drumroll...:


  • Textis Globbolalicus, by John M. Bennett. Introductions by Jim Leftwich, Olchar Lindsann, and Bob BreuKl.

Spanning three volumes and nearly 1,000 pages, this is THE DEFINITIVE collection of texts in that that most indecipherable of tongues, Globbolalia, by its only native speaker, the inimitable Dr. John M. Bennett.
Vol. I: 354 pp., Introduction by Bob BrueckL, cover by C. Mehrl Bennett.
Vol. II: 351 pp., Introduction by Jim Leftwich, cover by Blaster Al Ackerman.
Vol. III: 292 pp., Introduction by Olchar E. Lindsann, cover by Musicmaster.

  • Avant the Avant-Garde: Childhood and Family in the Culture of the Avant-Garde, compiled by Olchar E. Lindsann.
Childhood and family are rarely highlighted in discussions of, by, or about the avant-garde; this exploratory investigation takes the form of hundreds of short passages gleaned from memoirs, letters, poems, and autobiographical works of avant-gardists from the past 200+ years, and numerous introductions and biographies, woven into an impressionistic survey of this neglected aspect of avant-garde life.
  • Anti-Prophesies: Post-NeoAbsurdist Prophesy Poems, A.Da. 86-94. by Aaron Andrews, Megan Blafas, Bradley Chriss, Bruno Franklyn, Warren Fry, Jim Leftwich, Olchar Lindsann, the Montana PNA group, & other anonymous Post-Neos.

One of the first and most versatile Post-Neo microforms, dozens of Anti-Prophesies have appeared in Post-Neo journals, books, and performances since A.Da. 87 (2003). Through them a characteristic but heteroclite tradition, mythology, and poetic has coalesced. This is the first comprehensive collection of PNA Anti-Prophesies drawn from the Post-Neo archives, with an introductory essay by Olchar E. Lindsann.

  • The Hymn of Stone, by Imogene Engine & Olchar Lindsann.

Dark and atavistic cycle of verses, collaboratively composed by Imogene Engine and Olchar Lindsann, adorned with collages by the writers. Crisp was the clock / shutting its eye to all of the bodies. // Bring me the sorrowful creature/ with its forehead of wood / and its skin marked with notches / like a soldier marked for his sins.

  • War Storm, by Warren Fry.

Fight the vicious Glandelinian army as one of the heroic Vivian Girls, in this tiny game based on the world created by Henry Darger. The first in a series of TLP-RPGs: 8-page mini-role-playing games with minimal rules & character-generation, experimental systems, and a lot of room for play.


  • from the Spart Action Group: Transmission. ed. Justin McKeown.
  • from Mycelium: A Zoum/Asemic History of Post-NeoAbsurdism. by Olchar Lindsann. Facsimile distribution of Lindsann's minimal and indirect history of Post-Neo, using only Post-Neo talismanic catch-phrases; the original edition of 20 copies is completely hand-stamped and already spoken for.
  • from [Pro]-[Anti] Press: Dada n’est rien. ed. Tomislav Butkovic. A French language mini-[Anti-]primer on Dada, with work by Hausmann, Ball, Hennings, Picabia, Tzara, Duchamp, plus a quiz and other embellishments by Butkovic.


  • Babbage's Disease & Other Fictions, by David Beris Edwards. British Post-Neo comedian and writer Edwards' long-awaited nonsensical-historical novella on the final weeks of the life of Charles Babbage, godfather of the computer, anchors this collection of long and short fiction, newly revised.
  • On Fun, by Olchar Lindsann. First published in SPART Action's Transmission, Lindsann's essay On Fun in pamphlet form.
  • The Prelude, Part II, trans. Fast Sedan Nellson. Nellson informs us that he is within pages of completing the second volume of his long-awaited translation of Wordsworth's long-winded epic The Prelude into Even-More-Boring-And-Trite.
  • Ubu Enchained, trans. Amy Oliver & Ubu Roi Special Edition. Two different Post-Neo takes on Ubu: British Post-Neo Amy Oliver's translation of Ubu Enchained, which served as the script for the American Post-Neo production of the play in Roanoke, VA in A.Da. 93 (2009), and a special edition DVD of Lindsann, Lennard & Lennard's A.Da. 89 (2005) film version of Ubu Roi, with audio commentary and other questionable goodies.
  • Scoria of the Bouzingo & Romanticist Manifestos. Translation is still afoot, but keep an eye out for the first printed fruits of the Bouzingo project: an anthology of writings and images of the Jeunes-France/Bouzingo group with introduction and short bios of the members; and a collection of manifestos, prefaces, polemics and theoretical texts from the French Romanticist community that will trace the context and emergence of the first(?) avant-gardes in the 1820s and '30s in the words of the participants themselves.
  • Imogene & Olchar: Ephemera as Memoir. First issue of an occasional 'zine by Olchar Lindsann & Imogene Engine, in collage & calligraphy.

And much more, as it becomes ready...

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Intersticial Update, Part 1

Until I have a home and full access to my files, archives, materials, workstation etc. mOnocle-Lash is still in half-gear. But things ARE moving, and here's a scattered and meandering update in-between 'official' website news posts, partly on current and future projects, partly on potential directions and focuses for mOnocle-Lash:

The Jeunes-France Bouzingo

Here, I shall be brief, for fear of being far too long-winded. Suffice to say that things procede swimmingly, as one can see by going HERE. This new Jeunes-France/Bouzingo website is not quite ready for official launch, but since this blog has only two regular readers, I doubt it will hurt to mention it here.

OSU Avant Writing Symposium

From Aug. 19-21, Ohio State University hosted one of the largest gatherings of visual poets, performance writers, avant-gardists, mail artists, and theorists, critics, and archivists of experimental writing in years, drawing attendees from across the US, Canada, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Spain, and elsewhere. The symposium included over 40 lectures and performances (12 hours a day!) in three languages, several exhibitions, and various other activities.

A Post-Neo/Collab Fest delegation drove up from Roanoke, including Olchar Lindsann, Warren Fry, Jim Leftwich, Sue Leftwich, and Aaron Bensen; in Columbus we met up with Ohio Post-Neos Bela b. Grimm (our host), Imogene Engine, Aaron Andrews, and Tomislav Butkovic in from New Jersey for quite a strong Post-Neo showing. We were able to see old friends again, meet long-time ocllaborators for the first time, and begin new relationships. I'll not go into detail or I'll never finish, but among a great many stimulating presentations were Fluxus actions by Keith Buchholz and Reed Altemus, a very thought-provoking presentation by Lizabel Mónica on underground literary activity in Cuba (more below), some provocative questions regarding the efficacy of the avant-garde by William James Austin, a performance by the Be Blank Consort, several presentations on digital writing in South America, a fascinating and spirited presentation by Michael Peters of materials relating to Fleury Colon donated to the OSU Archive, superb performance-lectures by Geof Huth, Martin Gubins, and mIEKAL aND, a joint reading in memory of Thomas L. Taylor, a wonderful mail art show organised by C. Mehrl Bennett, Collab Fest organised by Jim Leftwich, also a lecture and performances by myself--and much, much more.

In addition, and more on-topic for this particular blog, was a store with stalls of material from 15 or 20 micro-presses focusing on experimental writing, including mOnocle-Lash. In addition to transactions carried on here, there was a large amount of direct trading among us. It was wonderful to see so much variety both in content and in publishing approach, especially as print becomes increasingly rare in micropress publishing. These exchanges include Reed Altemus' Tonerworks, mIEKAL aND's Xexoxial, Endwar's IZEN, Tom Cassidy's Musical Comedy Editions, Crag Hill's Meritage Press, and of course John Bennett's Luna Bisonte. There was much more that I have yet to check out. I've added links on the mOnocle-Lash webpage to some of these presses (as well as to some additional online presses), and plan to distribute catalogs of of some who do not have webpages along with outgoing packets.

mOnocle-Lash publications available there included the journals Synapse 4 and BARM 1; the anthology Lung Crackle; Imogene Engine's The Iuk Kide; b.b. Grimm & O.Lindsann's The Myopic Deathray; David Beris Edward's Mr. Rutabega & the Clockwork Mince; Megan Blafas' DadMama Baroness Paper Dolls; my The Ecstatic Nerve, Toward a Breathing Text, Ananchronism as Dissent, and Feral Pool; and the mOnocle-Lash catalog.

Some Thoughts on What's Next

As one would hope, I went into the symposium with certain thoughts in the back of my mind, and emerged with them at the front. The participation of many writers from Spanish-speaking countries--and in particular the presentation by Lizabel Mónica of Desliz on Cuban dissenting literature, conversations with her later in the weekend, and the accompanying packets of work and documentation that she brought along--helped to bring into focus a concern that I have had for some time, already made pointed by my interaction with Gleb Kolomiets' Slova in Russia and the linguistic and traditional complications that make up the fabric of mOnocle-Lash's own Bouzingo project. This concern is the isolation of the anglophone avant-garde.

I have for some time become increasingly impatient with the ethical and political complacency of marginal creative communities--what I would like to consider avant-gardes. My attempts both to think my own way out of this impasse and to goad the milieus with with I engage to more rigorous self-reflection and action in this regard are complex and have met with widely varying degrees of success so far. These attempts repeatedly pose the questions: How can we define, and then achieve efficacy? What must my own generation--those of us now entering our intellectual maturity and faced with a field of possible ways forward--achieve in order to re/establish a groundwork from which the avant-garde can become a social force rather than a literary-artistic genre? What must we address, and how?

These questions have been sharpened and recontextualized through my engagement with Gleb's Slova project and the group of writers, performers, and intellectuals with whose work I am slowly becoming familiar through it. As I interact further with communities across languages, in political situations vastly different from my own--realising along the way how deeply isolated my own Anglophone conception of the avant-garde community and tradition has become, and how difficult it is to overcome this limitation in the absence of adequate translation--this line of questioning solicits further and even more uncomfortable questions:

What can be the role of a Western, Euro-American Avant-Garde, especially an Anglophone avant-garde, which is in the final analysis an avant-garde of the undeserving elite? Of the only such communities who can afford to be "apolitical", or to choose to be otherwise, who have the privilege to risk complacence? To what extent does the Anglophone avant-garde reproduce within itself, unconsciously and hypocritically, the isolationism and nationalism of the society it wishes to subvert, an isolationism that takes the form of a blindness and an obliviousness to its own linguistic and political situation that is only possible when one speaks the language that is, after all, the literary equivalent of the Dollar, by which every other linguistic and literary currency is oriented and, all too often, devalued?

What are our responsibilities, and to whom? What are our unique resources, and how might they best be utilized in service of a vision of a truly global and transnational avant-garde?

And, most pointedly to the purpose of this particular blog, what role ought mOnocle-Lash to play in asking and then answering these questions, and providing platforms for response?

I am groping toward answers to the initial questions posed here, or more precisely toward a platform through which these questions might be asked. The most obvious and immediate answer is an increase of translated texts in Synapse and other venues; the practical issue of getting texts translated can come largely through increased dialogue and involvement with the communities themselves from which texts originate, and some hurdles might be overcome via the experiments in collaborative translation being carried out via the Bouzingo project.

But beyond this, platforms of exchange must be established through which these questions can be asked and answered within an international context. Here again I find excellent models in Slova (and the associated decentralized press Mycelium) and Desliz, both of them multifaceted projects, network-nodes whose focus is on facilitating exchange on local/national levels and on international/transnational levels simultaneously, both of them establishing a loose centre via journals that bring together poetic, artistic, and theoretical work from an array of nations and, to the extent possible, languages.

Desliz in particular uses the internet to host this wide range of discourse, creative work, documentation, announcements, calls for entries, etc and as the most effective way (despite its illegality in Cuba) to slip through national borders. Lizabel in fact upbraided me for this reason for having so little of the mOnocle-Lash material in pdf form. (I am in the long, slow process of digitizing--new publications will almost all appear simultaneously in both forms.) This kind of thing must be a long-term goal, but it is long-term.

In the meantime, there is at least one way in which the pervasiveness English can be turned against itself; as the language most commonly translated into and out of, it can serve as a kind of way-station of translation. A text translated from Russian to English may stand a better chance, on the underground level in which we work and if directed toward this purpose, of ending up in Spanish. Etc. etc. The same goes for discourse in general, including strategic exchange.

The most recent issue of Gleb's Slova includes a number of English texts translated into Russian, including SPART/Post-Neo's Nobody Go Anywhere Essays, and a number of Russian texts rendered into English. He's sent me a text detailing the current conditions of micropress and small press activity in Russia, which I'm waiting for an opportunity to publish. Lizabel's presentation last weekend, also translated, covers analogous territory. In both cases I have discussed potential translation/publication/distribution of work by others in their communities.

While I'd initially conceived of carrying these ideas out primarily in Synapse--and certainly there will be translations and quite possibly untranslated work in future issues--I am moving toward the notion of a separate journal, with an emphasis on expanding dialogue regarding these issues and resolving the challenges that avant-gardes and related communities face in their various contexts, evolving ways of coordinating internationally with an understanding of the very different resources and conditions that face cultural workers everywhere. What such a project might turn into would be decided organically as a result of this conversation.

This is where I am right now. Such a project as outlined above would not be put together until early next year (I still need to find a job, rent an apartment, and help establish an educational co-op this year...) I am on something of a precipice, and welcome ideas.

An Interstical Update, Part 2-Current Projects

New Semi-Publications:
No new publications per se since the Exquisite Crypt #2, but a couple new things--
  • Greatly expanded version of Megan Blafas' DadaMaMa: Baroness Elsa Paper Dolls. In preparation for the OSU Avant-Writing Symposium (see below), we decided to do the first 'expansion' of the Baroness Elsa folder. Added were three calligraphic poems by Megan dedicated to the Baroness, each on custom-cut cardstock, and a four-page biography by me. They went like hotcakes at the Symposium. If you've already got a copy of the Dolls I'll be including the new materials in my next package to you (remind me if you'd like).
  • Also prompted by the Symposium, there is a printed 24-page summer/Fall catalog for mOnocle-Lash, something I'd like to update several times a year.
  • I am now able to distro SPART Action Group's journal Transmission #3, on folded A3. Reproductions will be a bit imperfect, but there are great contributions by Vittore Baroni, Istvan Kantor, Justin McKeown, Mark Greenwood, Olchar Lindsann & others. I'm hoping to distro other issues of Transmission as well; this will be reflected on the website soon.
Current Projects:
These are all currently and concretely being prepared--
  • John M. Bennett, Textis Globbolalicus. Monstrous 1,000 page collection of poems in Bennett's Zoumish language of Globbolalia, in three volumes with introductions by Bob BruekL, Jim Leftwich, & Olchar Lindsann.
  • Imogene Engine & Olchar Lindsann, The Hymns of Stone. Collaborative verse and collage.
  • Alfred Jarry & Amy Oliver, Ubu Enchained. Oliver's translation, used for the Post-Neo production of the play at the 2009 Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival.
  • David Beris Edwards, Collected Fiction. About cocking time! This will no doubt have a wittier and confusing title than this.
  • William Wordsworth & Fast Sedan Nellson, The Prelude Translated into Even-More-Boring-And-Trite, Volume 2. Also about cocking time. Get off your arse, Nellson!
  • The Jeunes-France Group, Scoria of the Bouzingo. The first sampler of fruits of the ongoing Bouzingo research/translation project (more below).
  • Achille & Eugéne Devéria, Prints & Erotica, ed. Warren Fry. The first publication focusing on specific members of the Bouzingo group, the Devéria brothers.
  • The Adventures of Mr. Squibbles, Vol. I. I've been saying for years that this DVD of seminal pre-Post-NeoAbsurdist short films was about to appear, but I really mean it this time!
  • Other planned but further-off projects include an anthology of Post-Neo Prophesy-Poems, A DVD Poorly Made Films collection, pamphlets by Lindsann On Fun and Redefining the Avant-Garde, a follow up to Lennard & Lindsann's Compulsory Bingo (recorded but not yet mixed), and many other things.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July A.Da. 94 Update

It's an incredibly busy period right now between a relocation to Roanoke, VA and a two-week tour around England and Cornwall, but projects continue to press forward with mOnocle-Lash. To-whit:


  • Exquisite Crypt #2, a relic of a previous Post-Neo travel extravaganza, a 20-page exquisite corpse worked on by the British, New Jersey, and Washington Post-Neo groups in the course of an interlocking set of travels and visits. The most recent three pages at any given time were off-limits for viewing as we worked, while previous pages could be perused; the result is a series of re-insertions and developments of themes as the poem progressed, an interesting experiment in the process of exquisite corpse.
  • Dartington, A Eulogy, by O. Lindsann. The closure of the experimental school at Dartington, UK examined as an investigation into current creative education, the problematics of utopian undertakings, and the strategies that we adopt to account for their ephemeral nature. First distributed as a pamphlet at the final Dartington Festival in June.
  • Bouzingo Anti-Translations, w/the Institute for Research & Application, Kohoutenberg. The first six Tacky Little Pamphlets of homophonic, google-skewed, and alinear anti-translations from our colleagues in Kohoutenberg. Very fun little mini-collections. There will eventually be scores of these handy little volumes, which can serve among other things as quasi-previews of the more straightforward translations yet to come from the Bouzingo project.

See the NEW PUBLICATIONS tab on the mOnocle-Lash website for more information or to order.

In other news, we'll soon begin distro of the SPART Action Group's new issue of their journal Transmission, hot off the press in Northern Ireland, not to mention a couple new (for us) titles from Mouse Milk Books. And from August 15-17th I'll be participating along with many members of the Post-Neo/mOnocle-Lash community in the Avant Writing Symposium organised by John M. Bennett at OSU in Columbus, OH, where we'll have 12 titles available at the symposium shop along with numerous other micro-presses run by friends and collaborators.


Some projects that are well on their way and which should appear before autumn--

  • Textis Globbolalicus, by John M. Bennett. A gigantic compendium of poems in Bennett's seminal anti-language, Globbolalia. Nearly 1,000 pages, in three volumes, each with a separate introduction and cover art.
  • ???????, by Imogene Engine & Olchar Lindsann. A long-form poem in ten sections, written collaboratively and simultaneously by two long-time Post-Neo versifiers and illustrated the same way. All it needs now is a title and some simple editing.
  • Compulsory Bingo follow-up, by Chris Lennard & O. Lindsann. This time with vocals, theramin, marimba, xylophone, hammond organ, a large array of drums and symbols, slide-whistle, other noises, and texts by Lindsann, Leftwich, Edwards, Bennett, and Altemus.
  • More Bouzingo Anti-Translations. The current focus is on texts by Bertrand and O'Neddy.


Definitely planned and with initial groundwork underway, but with completion a ways off; most of these are not yet definitively titled.

  • Collected Short Stories, by David Beris Edwards. A long-overdue perfect-bound anthology of absurdist, nonsense, and comedic short fiction from Post-NeoAbsurdism's consummate Anti-prosodist.
  • Book of Anti-Prophesies. Post-NeoAbsurdist prophesies, anti-prophesies, and various hermetically coded texts have been appearing from both known and anonymous quarters since before the inception of the movement itself. It is time now that they were compiled.
  • Scoria of the Bouzingo. Together for the first time since 1833 (in fact for the first time ever, since their planned anthology fell through for lack of funds): representative poems, essays, etchings, paintings, drama and fiction by (we hope) all 15 or so members of the Bouzingo/Jeunes France group, with a critical history and copious translators' and contextual annotation. This chapbook will be merely a foretaste of the eventual full-sized anthology and history, and of the series of chapbooks to be commenced soon, each dedicated to an individual member of the group.
  • Portfolio, by Achille Devéria, ed. by Warren Fry. Among the first publications dedicated to the Bouzingo will be a portfolio of images by painter, lithographer, and eroticist Achille Devéria, who was along with his brother Eugéne a guiding light of Frenetic Romanticism in visual arts communities. Reproductions will be xerographed, in colour where appropriate, on high-quality paper with a critical and biographical introduction, tipped into a folder with custom cover.
  • Ubu Enchained, by Alfred Jarry, translated by Amy Oliver. The long, long awaited publication of Amy Oliver's translation of Jarry's play, the text used for the Post-Neo production of the play at the Roanoke Marginal Arts Festival in Feb. A.Da. 93 (2009).
  • Ubu Roi Special Edition, by Jarry, Emilie Lennard, Olchar Lindsann, Angee Lennard, Chris Lennard, & Terri Lennard. The Symbolist-cum-Post-Neo classic on one disc with audio commentary by the, er, cast & crew (and possibly other tracks), production stills, and whatever else.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Philothée O'Neddy: Preface to FIRE AND FLAME

Here, at long last, is the preface of Philothée O'Neddy's 1833 collection of verse, Fire & Flame. Joseph Carter has meticulously translated and annotated the text, to which I have added historical notes pertaining to my research into the Bouzingo group. Progress is halting at the moment while I am travelling all over the place, but look for Carter's translation of Borel's insanely opaque Preface to Rhapsodies in the next week or so. Quite a treat, let me tell you, and an excellent compliment to this text.

Philothée O'Neddy was, along with Petrus Borel, one of the principal organisers of the Bouzingo group, and among its most politically and ideologically radical and outspoken. According to his friend Gautier, "In all he did the tone was excessive, the colouring extreme and violent, the utmost bounds of expression reached, the very originality aggressive, and the whole almost dripping with originality". He was known for his "absurd paradoxes, the sophistical maxims, the incoherant metaphors, the turgid hyperbole and the six-foot words." He wore his eyeglasses even in his sleep, claiming that without them he could not see his dreams clearly enough.

Gautier considered O'Neddy one of the most skilled poetic craftsmen of his generation: "Philothée was a metrical writer; he knew how to fashion a line on an anvil, and when he had drawn from the fire the incandescent alexandrine, he could give it, amid a shower of sparks, the form he wanted by means of his heavy and persevering hammering."

His father died in the cholera epidemic of 1832, several months from retirement after 29 years in public service, and his family was denied pension; O'Neddy began to live a double life, taking his father's job to support his mother and sister while continuing as a ringleader of the Bouzingo. While Fire & Flame, published the following year, was hailed by the extreme wing of the avant-garde as a Romanticist masterpiece, the psychological strain of this way of living began to burn him out as it did Borel. By the end of the decade, his spirit broken, he had reverted to his given name, Théophile Dondey, though he continued to published Gothic novels and occassional verse under that name, and to support the Romanticist community through his influence on the press co-owned by his brother, the 'Oriental Library of Dondey-Dupré'.

For nearly decade he fell out of touch with his old comrades; finally in 1848 he attended a banquet thrown for fellow Bouzingo Célestin Nanteuil, who had designed the frontispiece for Fire & Flame. Gautier, overjoyed, asked him, "when will your second volume of verse appear?"

'He gazed at me with his watery, frightened blue eyes,' relates Gautier, 'and answered with a sigh:--

"When there are no more Bourgeois."'

From this time he attended most of the Romanticist reunions until his death in 1875.

For more context and information, refer to the timeline of French Romanticism, posted below.

Translator's note by Joseph Carter:

Here is a translation that I have tried to keep as true to the source text as possible. While there may be contained therein much opportunity to have further anglicized some parts, syntax or expressions, I chose not to do as such on condition that it still made sense, and still conveyed what I felt the author was trying to express (in a manner still comprehensible to the English reader). I have done this in an attempt to give the English reader a clearer taste of O'Neddy's style, and also some exposure to the manner in which the French communicate in general. It is still, alas, my regret to inform you that despite my efforts, some of the originality, creativity, and beauty of the source text has been, as we so often say, lost in translation.

The punctuation, which is at times bizarre in my opinion, has been left unaltered; except of course that there are no spaces between words and: colons, semicolons, and exclamation marks. Also, my keyboard cannot make a dash, in its place I have used two hyphens.

Unless otherwise indicated, notes are by Carter; notes by Lindsann are italicized and marked (OL)


An author, head held high1, in his proud preface,2

To the public he insults though trying to cry out: Places!3

Long enough4, immobile and arms crossed on the front step of my pariah hut, have I contemplated, in idle admiration, the great adolescent walls of artistic and moral Babel which the elite with secret information of our age have embarked on edifying.

Having become5, at this hour, more profound, more imperious, more exalted, my sympathy ordains me to combine a little action with this contemplation, to go merge myself into the worker's crowd.

So, here I am: I bring to the gigantic slabs a puny handful of cement.

Strong and muscular workers, keep yourselves from pushing away my feeble cooperation; never will you have enough hands6 to erect such a grand opus7! And perhaps am I not quite unworthy to be named your brother. -- As you, I despise from the depths of my soul the social order and above all the political order which truly8 is excrement; -- as you, I mock the ancientists[sic]9 and the academy; -- as you, I pose myself incredulous and cold in front of the magnoliquence[sic] and the faded finery of the religions of the land10; -- as you, I have no pious yearnings but for Poetry, this twin sister of God, who allots to the physical world light, harmony and perfumes; to the moral world, love, intelligence and will!

Certainly, though incipient, she is already very well miraculous and grandiose, this Babel! Her belt of grand walls already tightly fit around myriads of stadiums. The sublimity of her towers already pierces the most distant heavens. Belonging to her alone, she has already more arabesques and statues than all of the cathedrals of the middle ages together.11 Poetry12 possesses at last a city, a kingdom where she may easily deploy her two natures: -- her human nature which is art, -- her divine nature which is passion.

Without a doubt, you recollect the fabulous confidence with which, straight after the fall of the last king of France, certain journals13 prophesied that this was being done with young14 literature, that it was entering the coffin at the same time as old legitimacy.15 -- Young literature has so little been in mortal danger, it has so well developed its vital principle, that not only has it managed to multiply tenfold its own strength, to put the finishing touches on its revolution16, but that it has yet known being rich enough, powerful enough gloriously to prelude a metaphysical crusade against society. Yes, now that it has completed all its beautiful reforms in the disguise17 of art, it devotes itself exclusively to the ruin of that which it calls the social lie; -- as the philosophy of the eighteenth century devoted itself to the destruction of that which it called the christian lie.18

Each day, many young people of patriotic convictions come to realize that, if political work has a Caliban type nature, it must directly be blamed on social work19, its mother; -- so, they put down republican fanaticism, and rush to enroll in the phalanxes of our Babel.

What is unbelievable, is that the powerful20 heads of the financial establishments, the sublime capacities who mock the knighthood and adore the national guard21, persist in denying the existence of this large intellectual fermentation. Because the exterior life, the material and positive life finds itself, thanks to our mathematically miserly civilization, somewhat reduced to the state of petrification, -- they are counting on an eternity of boorish calm; -- they do not see that on the other hand the interior life, the Romanesque22 and metaphysical life is as turbulent, as adventurous, as free as the Arab tribes in their solitudes.

Let them then remember that, on that very day before the famous eruption of Vesuvius that buried very much alive two cities, Herculaneum and Pompeii, of ignorant naturalists, who must have been strolling not far from the edge of the crater, asking each other if it was very well true that the bowels of the mountain contained a volcano!...

I hasten, before closing this vile prose, to affirm to the honest people who will well want to let their ivory knife devirginize[sic] the pages of my book23, that I have not the slightest vanity in the world to believe the subsequent poems, at the level of the solemn preoccupations touched lightly by these preliminary lines.

This volume has no other pretension but that of being the body of my best schoolboy drafts; which consist simply of passionate reveries and of artistic studies.

It is very well true however that one finds here and there a few footprints of lycanthropy24, a few anathemas against the social lepers; though we would be wrong to take word for word25 these manifestations, which are, for the most part, but lively witticisms. -- One would be wrong to regard them as the absolute expression of my veritable sentiments. If it's given to me26 to publish a second work, it will be more logical, more in touch my nature as a thinker; inside it I will say my last word; -- so then, one will be able to judge me.

What if the bric-à-brac traders of civilization deigned to tell me in anger that no person is permitted to put himself outside of society, I would have the irreverence to make them observe that two classes of men possess this right in an imprescriptible manner; -- those who are worth more than society, -- and those who are worth less. -- I fall into one of these two categories.27

1front levé means either forehead raised or brow raised. In English a raised brow usually indicates confusion or suspicion. Here a reference to pride is intended.

2The preface was the traditional form of the Romanticist manifesto--other examples include Hugo's preface to Cromwell, Borel's preface to Rhapsodies, and Gautier's preface to Mlle. de Maupin.

3The only sense I can make from this is that he means this in the way that a director or choreographer might yell: ''Places everybody!'' (JC) This is epigraph is treated as quoted verse, but if it is I've been unable to trace the source, which means it's EVEN more obscure than everything else we're looking at here. If it IS a quote (or is simply meant to resemble one), it explains the superfluous capitalisation, for it implies the beginning of a new line of verse. It should be noted that elsewhere O'Neddy uses as epigraph a 'quote' attributed to his given name (employed there as a pseudonym!) (OL)

4I'm working from the assumption that tems is actually supposed to be temps and that this signifies nothing more than an innocent typo.

5Because in French adjectives agree with the gender of the noun, this sentence is very precise in indicating that his sympathy has become more profound etc. Plus, in French, the verb to become has a more obvious past participle, thus does not risk being confused with predicates of present tense or imperative. In an attempt to achieve the same clarity with minimal alteration, The auxiliary gerund (which is absent in the source text) has been added to the past participle of to become.

6Though O'Neddy said arms, I felt that hands woks better in English.

7If it is felt by the reader that opus is too specific to music, than it may be substituted for work.

8While the adverb truly was not used by O'neddy, it was added to convey the same emphasis indicated by the en in the sentence (a literal translation of which is impossible).

9I love these neologisms. This one would refer to the Classicist school, the arch-enemies of the Romanticists (and thus the Bouzingo, who were arch-Romanticist) intellectually and often ideologically. Classicism grounded creative activity and thought in abstractioin and the immutable logics discovered or laid down by the ancient Greeks, while the Romanticists grounded it in the particular and the constantly-changing prerogatives of society. Classicism was effectively the official ideology of the French Academy. (OL)

10The Bouzingo were without a doubt the most blasphemous and outrageously atheist of the Romanticists (Borel, O'Neddy, and Nerval in particular); rumour had them as out-and-out Satanists, though in fact most of them seem rather to have been atheist mystics and/or Voltairian skeptics who (immensely) enjoyed the aesthetic of blasphemy, having been raised on Gothic novels, the 'Satanic School' of British Romanticism (Byron, Shelley, etc), etc. Probably not unlike contemporary horror or death metal fans--atheists who enjoyed that particular transgression. (OL)

11There might be a sly little dry joke here; the Bouzingo were utterly steeped in things Gothic, both medieval poetry (esp. Villon, Rabelais, and the Minstrels), art, and architecture itself, and contemporary movements in painting and literature that revived and recontextualized the medieval, including Gothic novels whose conventions were a huge part of how the Bouzingo presented themselves to the world. The name of 'Romanticism' itself is a ressurection of the Medieval (Romanesque), and that's probably what's being indirectly refered to by 'arabesques'. The use of that term also carries a shade of the orientalism which was a part of not only the Bouzingo's mythologizing of the East, but also of Europe's past (and present, for that matter...). They were more medieval than the Medievals. (OL)

12Poetry is capitalized here not just because it's at the beginning of the sentence, but also because O'Neddy is still personifying it. One will notice in the source text that poetry is the second word and with an upper case p.

13Journal in the sense of newspaper.

14The adjective new is arguably more appropriate, but I felt that young was in better keeping with O'Neddy's style (and it is, after all, what he wrote).

15This refers to the "July Revolution" of 1830, when the Bourbon Monarchy was overthrown in city-wide rioting, and another, slightly more liberal king put in his place by the Liberal opposition in order to forestall a proletarian republic. Borel and O'Neddy were not happy about this last-minute reinstatement of Monarchy. The 'Young Art' refered to by O'Neddy would of course be Romanticism, but more specifically O'Neddy is refering to the “Battle of Hernani”, the opening of Victor Hugo's Romanticist play where there had been a riot of physical brawling between Romanticists and Classicists; the rioting was in fact instigated according to a carefully planned and rehearsed programme devised by Hugo, Borel, and Nerval, and then spread through the Romanticist community in a remarkably organized way. It was planned as a literal coup d'etat of the french cultural establishment, with the 'battle' being the spectacular, newsworthy event which would secure Romanticism a voice and the support of the French people. It worked remarkably well. Presumably the Classicists (and Monarchists, since Romanticism considered itself a fundamentally democratic movement) were hoping that the political turmoil, and its termination, would spell the end of Romanticism as a cultural force. (OL)

16Although this has the nuance that I felt while reading the source text, it may well be more colourful than O'Neddy intended. To write complete its revolution might have sufficed.

17He may have perhaps meant in a suit of art.

18It's rare to see this idea of art being primarily a mask for social and metaphysical revolt stated so explicitly in the 19th century. This paragraph sounds uncannily like something that the Situationists would have written 130 years later--see in particular Vaneigam's definitions of Poetry in Revolution of Everyday Life, which accrd closely with O'Neddy's use of the term. Reversing direction, he seems to be implying that he sees the Bouzingo's activity as a continuation of the project of Voltaire, Rousseau, etc., redirected from the Philosophical to the cultural realm. (OL)

19I suspect he does not mean social work the way we know it today.

20O'Neddy wrote strong, however I used powerful in the translation to avoid mistaking head for the anatomical version because he certainly did not mean to say strong heads as in stubborn heads, he is clearly using head as the synonym of leader.

21The National Guard had fought on behalf of the capitalist Liberals in the July Revolution. (OL)

22The very term 'Romantic'/Romantique is derived from 'Romanesque', though the relationship between the two in early 19th Century usage seems quite complex and we are not yet at the bottom of figuring it out. Certainly O'Neddy's use of the term would have borne heavy ovetones of the contemporary subculture of which he was an ardent spokesman. (OL)

23A reference to the knife used to seperate the uncut pages of a newly-printed book, in a metaphor also used by fellow Bouzingo Théophile Gautier. (OL)

24This is a reference to Borel, who was given the nickname of 'The Lycanthrope' within the Avant-Garde (as he mentions in his own preface); the term seems to have bled out to refer to the 'frenetic' or extremist wing of Romanticism, for which he was the principal spokesman, generally. Interestingly, O'Neddy here positions the Bouzingos' 'lycanthropic' behaviour to a response to social disease and social revolution (which, after all, had in fact occured only three years previous and would again in another ten). (OL)

25Prendre au pied de la lettre = To take to the foot of the letter, and this expression means to take some thing literally/word for word, or, in the case of a command or order, to carry out precisely as ordered.

26I suspect this translation is possibly a gamble. O'Neddy means more less given the chance. In my translation, chance or opportunity is implied, but I am not certain if this implication is evident enough (at least the way it is in the source text).

27If not both. This statement is reminiscent of the way that the Bouzingo lived and the way that they built their public face. They reconciled what were up to that time considered mutually exclusive opposites (aside from a few figures whom they had studied quite a bit, such as Villon, Rabelais, Caravagio, etc), being fiercely intellectual, individualistic, and careful of manner and appearance as befited an aristocrat (of birth or of intellect) worth more than society, while at the same time rowdy, over the top, proudly destitute, and immersed in popular subcultures as befitted reprobates and criminals, and perhaps the most exploited of the working class.

mOnocle-Lash Anti-Press

mOnocle-Lash Anti-Press has published and distributed nearly 50 Post-NeoAbsurdist and Post-Neo friendly journals, chapbooks, pamphlets, (Anti-)Manifestos, albums, films, posters, flyers, anthologies, stickers, add & pass sheets, TLPs, performance scores, paper dolls, and other provocations since A.Da. 89, a.k.a. A.D. 2005. It also manages the re-publication and continued distribution of early Post-Neo material produced under the Appropriated Press imprint, founded by dadaDavid Hartke, Aaron Andrews, and Olchar Lindsann a few months after the genesis of Post-Neo itself.

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