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A New Lyricism in France ? 

Essay about lyricism

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Gardair's blue

Extraction of Light

An extract of « Wasteland »

Preliminary notes for a chapter devoted to lyricism

by Jean-Michel MAULPOIX, in La Matinée à l'anglaise, Seghers, 1982

Translated from the original French by Catherine Wieder



At first some kind of vanishing line : the sea heading for the open sea. Such a joy in dying to oneself, in spilling out. There, beyond, marvellous clouds carry a load of skies. O to mingle our bodies to such unachievable, our fingers, our locks, and a multifold array of desirable weaknesses …


When the soul is at low tide, we gather on the washed out beach but a few salted sea sprays and those thin spoils of shells, of sea-weeds, of shrimps and crabs which the deep silence of the seas grants us sparingly.


Lyricism is almost some kind of a wasteland : an indefinite boundless space where all kinds of strange objects run aground on sandbank : e.g. the world's scrapes, scraps and old carcasses, without neither value nor meaning. A wild space, disquieting and yet familiar where the most elementary community puts itself together again poles apart from both museum or church. In such a bric-à-brac of junk images the frail forget-me-not blossomed…


In such a place, one goes about one's business. Lyricism in man is something like the

consistuent of some kind of wandering.


Putting one's thought on trial of the wasteland means that one accepts being driven, called, filled again and again. It doesn't mean handling concepts but answering a flow of astounding images. Thus, in both utopia and absence, presence can assert itself. Lyricism first compels every one's availability to some kind of trial.


A path does exist, which our steps invent. Such a line appears all of a sudden, then becomes blurred, draws itself again, it lasts hardly the short while of our stroll. Our capacity to pace and increase such a field falls both on to our stamina and our marvelling. The more we walk, the more it does exist.