Tag Archives: french

The Society of the Spectacle

The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord, newly translated and annotated by Ken Knabb, is due March, 2014. You can check out the text of this online at the Bureau of Public Secrets, and pre-order the print edition via AK Press.

Guy Debord Ken Knabb The Society of the Spectacle from AK Press

The Society of the Spectacle, originally published in Paris in 1967, has been translated into more than twenty other languages and is arguably the most important radical book of the twentieth century. This is the first edition in any language to include extensive annotations, clarifying the historical allusions and revealing the sources of Debord’s ‘détournements.’

Contrary to popular misconceptions, Debord’s book is neither an ivory tower ‘philosophical’ discourse nor a mere expression of ‘protest.’ It is a carefully considered effort to clarify the most fundamental tendencies and contradictions of the society in which we find ourselves. This makes it more of a challenge, but it is also why it remains so pertinent nearly half a century after its original publication while countless other social theories and intellectual fads have come and gone.

It has, in fact, become even more pertinent than ever, because the spectacle has become more all-pervading than ever — to the point that it is almost universally taken for granted. Most people today have scarcely any awareness of pre-spectacle history, let alone of anti-spectacle possibilities. As Debord noted in his follow-up work, Comments on the Society of the Spectacle (1988), ‘spectacular domination has succeeded in raising an entire generation molded to its laws.’ [via]

Lark in the Morning

Lark in the Morning: The Verses of the Troubadours, a Bilingual Edition by Robert Kehew, with both French and English, translations by Ezra Pound, W D Snodgrass and Robert Kehew, a 2005 paperback from University of Chicago Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Robert Kehew Lark in the Morning from University of Chicago Press

“Although the troubadours flourished at the height of the Middle Ages in southern France, their songs of romantic love, with pleasing melodies and intricate stanzaic patterns, have inspired poets and song writers ever since, from Dante to Chaucer, from Renaissance sonneteers to the Romantics, and from Verlaine and Rimbaud to modern rock lyricists. Yet despite the incontrovertible influence of the troubadours on the development of both poetry and music in the West, there existed no comprehensive anthology of troubadour lyrics that respected the verse form of the originals until now.

Lark in the Morning honors the meter, word play, punning, and sound effects in the troubadours’ works while celebrating the often playful, bawdy, and biting nature of the material. Here, Robert Kehew augments his own verse translations with those of two seminal twentieth-century poets—Ezra Pound and W. D. Snodgrass—to provide a collection that captures both the poetic pyrotechnics of the original verse and the astonishing variety of troubadour voices.” — back cover

 

“Now when I see the skylark lift
His wings for joy in dawn’s first ray
Then let himself, oblivious, drift
For all his heart is glad and gay,
Ay! such great envies seize my thought
To see the rapture others find,
I marvel that desire does not
Consume away this heart of mine.”
—from “The Skylark” by Bernart de Ventadorn, trans. W D Snodgrass

 

The Wine & The Will

The Wine and the Will: Rabelais’s Bacchic Christianity by Florence M Weinberg, the 1972 first edition hardcover from Wayne State University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Florence M Weinberg The Wine & The Will from Wayne State University Press

“In a solid contribution to the field of French Renaissance literature, this study follows the trends of criticism initiated by the revolutionary discoveries of Glison, Febvre, and Screech, focusing on two major emblematic aspects of Rabelais’s novels. Using primary Renaissance iconological material, the author reconstructs the processes by which Renaissance authors (and Rabelais) coded their teachings in symbols that were both entertaining and useful to the learned reader of the time.

The author investigates two major Christian and humanistic aspects of Rabelais’s novels which were meant to test the ingenuity of a learned audience. She takes into account Hellenic and Hellenistic traditions of hermetism—numerology and symbolic iconology in their medieval and Renaissance transformations. The study is designed to show how Rabelais, a Renaissance humanist, fuses comic popular and pagan traditions to convey an evangelical Christian message. It reveals hidden meanings of episodes in Rabelais’s work previously dismissed as simply amusing, and conveys how humor and irony combined in ‘folly’ becomes the vehicle for wisdom.

The symbolism of the wine and the will, explored and understood in all its theological and humanistic complexity, deepens our understanding of Rabelais’s work and Renaissance thought in general.”

 

The Hermetic Library Reading Room is an imaginary and speculative future reification of the library in the physical world, a place to experience a cabinet of curiosities offering a confabulation of curation, context and community that engages, archives and encourages a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to contribute to the Hermetic Library Reading Room, consider supporting the library or contact the librarian.

Théorie du Mannequin

Théorie du Mannequin (Arthur-Louis Cingualte et Manuel Montero)” is a track added by Manuel Montero in the Hermetic Library audio pool.

 

Cela revient à dire qu’il y aura toujours des textes, des ouvrages, méconnus. Et, avec eux, des pensées qui passeront à l’oubli sans pour autant le mériter aucunement.

Assumer cela, et chercher dans la folie à ne pas rendre plus grave la souffrance de celui qui souhaite une écoute, c’est la tâche de notre curiosité en tant que vertu, le désir de savoir dépourvu de mesquinerie, et pourvu d’un je-ne-sais-quoi chimérique. Alternance chez nous, donc, de fertilité et d’onanisme. Pas forcément différents des animaux, parce que la loi de ce bas-monde prévoit aussi la perversion, comme l’a observé froidement le Marquis de Sade.

Ah, du sensationnel, cet orgasme soutenu de l’anafranil… mmm, délice! C’est con, on nous donne de la liberté d’expression à hautes doses et on frise l’autodestruction, mais la suite est mieux, on tombe sur la délectation morose de la transgression, de coucher ensemble avec d’autres personnes, de mouiller…

On est une acteur et une actrice réunis par le hasard et l’on témoigne devant n’importe quel publique.

 

The Hermetic Library audio pool is a participatory place for sharing sounds and music of a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the audio pool, head over to the Hermetic Library audio pool or contact the librarian.

Racine Parabolique

Racine Parabolique” is a track added by BISSECTA in the Hermetic Library audio pool.

 

L’azur et l’or tissent la matière de jade et partout s’enchâsse la perle caustique du règne lumineux. Le professorat des caresses signifères sur le bébé de l’univers taquine la superbe du souffle diamantifère de la toute omnipotente confiance. Le filet solaire vampirise et onirise le réel sur la synthèse des baisers cimiers à l’identité cavernicole que modèle la trajectoire d’une dimension monomaniaque, ultime foudroiement d’un ligament. Lentement, si lentement, laisser choir l’émoi au firmament. Lorsque, brutalement, la claudication se cristallise, infiniment; cette beauté qui accorde les cœurs, universellement.

Cramer le trait connu
Tramer le crée inconnu
Par la brûlure arborescente
L’arme de nos creux
Sur l’idée de Larme
Cette écorce éthérée
L’exosquelette de la synapse
La vue exécutrice
Signer dans l’Air
Râle Nuptial
Ramage Vespéral
Vaginal Mirage
Flaire le Virginal
Lame de l’Œil
L’œil de l’Âme
monde amiboïde/nervure planétaire

 

The Hermetic Library audio pool is a participatory place for sharing sounds and music of a living Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the audio pool, head over to the Hermetic Library audio pool or contact the librarian.

In Nomine Babalon, XXIX–XXX, in French

XXIX

Enseigne-moi Tes secrets, tes profonds mystères,

Aussi Je me couche entre les deux tours pour dormir

Et Khephra se glisse du côté est de l’horizon.

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XXX

Comme des enfants nous dansons parmi les délices terrestres,

Avec le soleil au dessus procurant la vie, procurant la lumière !

À l’aube la rosée du matin étincelle comme des diamants,

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

In Nomine Babalon: 156 Adorations [Qabalistiques] à la Déesse Écarlate

 

The Hermetic Library arts and letters pool is a project to publish poetry, prose and art that is inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the Arts and Letters pool, contact the librarian.

In Nomine Babalon, XXV–XXVIII, in French

XXV


Exposant les vieux mensonges racontés par le prêtre,


Elle est en train de promulguer l’Époque de la Bête—

Le formidable lion-serpent Elle est en train de chevaucher !

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XXVI

Dans les temples ils soufflent la corne du bélier

Puisque les frères noirs se préparent à égorger l’agneau ;

Soumettant à mort comme ils encrassent le pylône !

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XXVII

Les enfants d’Horus danseront dans la rue

Quand les anciennes manières seront mortes et obsolètes !

L’Asservissent des nations pour toujours abandonné,

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XXVIII

Aimez les uns les autres, aimez sans honte !

Unis mutuellement en Son nom saint !

Ressentant le serpent dans son ascension,

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

In Nomine Babalon: 156 Adorations [Qabalistiques] à la Déesse Écarlate

 

The Hermetic Library arts and letters pool is a project to publish poetry, prose and art that is inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the Arts and Letters pool, contact the librarian.

Luna’s Dogma

 

Luna’s Dogma
(Exomène/Wotton)

Lyrics were written and spoken by the French image slayer Dorianne Wotton.

Tension. Tension is the leitmotif of Luna’s Dogma.

Firstly, the way the track is built reflects tension with harsh words interspersed with naive music. Then the sound itself tries to render tension by the use of static as background noise. This reduces the violence of words by giving them a ghostly and ethereal feeling while giving a disturbing aspect to the music. That aspect contrasts with its simplicity, as if it came from the background of a nightmare. Finally, the tension is also created by the juxtaposition of several spoken elements spatialized so that the listener is trying to follow all of them at the same time which dissolves the meaning of each of them into une bouillie de mots, or word porridge. This tension is also that of an ascetic mystic, an anchorite, which seeks to achieve a celestial spirituality while feeling trapped in his earthly body.

The text, written and spoken by Dorianne Wotton, is an illustration of the “æsthetic of desolation”, as defined later by Dorianne Wotton and Exomène, that underlies both their respective individual and collaborative works since 2004.

The sampled spoken word of Dorianne Wotton from this track translated to English:

I am a heretic.
What enjoyment heresy can give us.
I am the ascetic of another mysticism, the priestess of another dogma.
What happiness, what sublimation, what transcendental moments my dogma gives me.
Behind the apparent barbarity of the acts that my almighty cult makes me do, there are short, too short moments that bring me closer to an impenetrable and indefinable ideal. The ascent to another spirituality far from pain, greed, emptiness. Agony for the common man, an orgasm for my emotional being.
[…]
I dream of another reality and perfection before I leave.
I want to live before I die.
Exalting my soul, I desert my body and especially the passing of time that ravages everything.
Like an anchorite, I hate my body and try to take refuge where no one can reach me.
Torn between inner violence and contemplation that brings me peace and serenity I chose to denigrate my body to feel the purity of my soul,
As required by my own religion.

The entire August 2003 essay by Dorianne Wotton is available in full on Exomène’s anthology profile page.

French artist Exomène is a soundsmith and digital apothecary.

A soundsmith because he works sounds like a potter his clay, or a blacksmith his metal: hammering, stretching, twisting sounds until they fit all together into a coherent piece of music.

As a digital apothecary, his approach is quite the same: playing with an abstract material as if it was physical in a more experimental way. The sound in itself is no longer triturated but what generates it is subjected to several techniques: data-bending, generativity, algorithm, glitch…

These two approaches stem from the same mysticism that holds abstract and physical materials are the same thing in different realms.

Follow Exomène via
Website
Soundcloud
Twitter
and
Anthology Profile

 

Magick, Music and Ritual 6, the Winter 2013 anthology album from the Hermetic Library
Hermetic Library Anthology Project – Magick Music and Ritual 6

 

 

In Nomine Babalon, XXI–XXIV, in French

XXI

Dame de la nuit avec Ton Serpent Ta danse,

M’enlaçant dans un transe mystique.

Ta voix chantant doucement, une sirène dévergondée;

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XXII

Oh vierge qui est assise dans Son jardin de blé

Avec le bouclier de l’Impératrice posé à ses pieds,

La forme de l’aigle à deux têtes dessus;

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XXIII

L’immobilité de l’eau, une berceuse est chantée ;

La vérité est intervertie et accrochée immobile

Sur la croix de crucifixion du dieu moribond !

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XXIV

Pas sur la montagne et pas dans la forêt,

Ses ermites sont Rois et pas des plus pauvres.

Sur de douillets lits de pourpre ils s’étendent !

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

In Nomine Babalon: 156 Adorations [Qabalistiques] à la Déesse Écarlate

 

The Hermetic Library arts and letters pool is a project to publish poetry, prose and art that is inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the Arts and Letters pool, contact the librarian.

In Nomine Babalon, XVII–XX, in French

XVII

Toi parée de pourpre, Toi parée d’écarlate,

Ô toi précieux bijou et putain chamarrée d’or,

Ta coupe dorée est remplie d’abominations;

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XVIII

L’aurige dans son armure d’or

Tiré sans rênes par les quadruples sphinx !

Flamboyant de gloire, le signe du soleil,

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XIX

L’encens est fumant, les bougies sont allumées

Tandis que Je me penche pour embrasser SON index

Et prie sur l’autel sur lequel Tu es assise !

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

 

XX

Le temps fait tic-tac comme les aiguilles d’une horloge

Suscitera le dieu avec la tête de faucon !

L’éon de feu pleuvra dessus;

Je lève la coupe et adore Babalon !

In Nomine Babalon: 156 Adorations [Qabalistiques] à la Déesse Écarlate

 

The Hermetic Library arts and letters pool is a project to publish poetry, prose and art that is inspired by or manifests the Western Esoteric Tradition. If you would like to submit your work for consideration as part of the Arts and Letters pool, contact the librarian.