Guillaume and François



My life with Apollinaire

by François Sureau

Gallimard, coll. “My life with”, 154 p., € 16

Apollinaire was already watching for Sureau around the 800e page of The Gold of Time (The cross June 4, 2020). But the confinement of last spring allowed François to “Imaginary break-ins” to his pétunant Guillaume: “I kept the pipe I took from him the year I was 15 and which has never left me. . There followed 150 pages of dreamy puffs of an old kid under house arrest thus coming out of our suspended time “Who made the world disappear”. Because opening up to the world, applauding the moment lived, exploring the regions of desire, that was all Guillaume’s art. And François, the lawyer by profession and the writer by choice, has always also had these desires, which anchor you “On the edges of everything”.

Hence this svelte book which owes nothing to history or biography. It can be read upside down and upside down, going back or not over a lifetime. Guillaume de Kostrowitzky was born in the last pages, of an unknown father, in Trastevere in Rome; he died at the first, of the Spanish flu in November 1918, a survivor with a bandaged head and very young married. In the meantime, he roamed the sweets of the Côte d’Azur and Rhineland Germany, in Montmartre version Bateau-Lavoir, at Auteuil and even at La Santé when he was suspected of having stolen the Mona Lisa: pedestrian from Paris running to loves, mediocre jobs, and joyful fraternity with the revolutionaries of the pen, the stage and the brush; never rowdy, never cynical, zigzagging between marginality and consecration, always a poet “Who simultaneously or almost simultaneously praised Cubism, the flag and the death of punctuation”.

François once had a platoon of hunters maneuver at the border in the Ardennes and this is why he follows Guillaume so fraternally, mounted to the front, in the spring of 1915, his certificate of naturalization finally in his pocket. Apollinaire was not a victim: one does not begin with impunity as a valiant artilleryman to end up a good commander of an infantry company of 160 men; he “Made the war of men and without speaking badly”, haunted by the idea of ​​serving. But he saw the new and reconciled world of which he dreamed of being engulfed horribly near. François also: “I loved, and will continue to love, this world that has disappeared. I will love it with its inventions, its new forms, its horrors and the good that works despite the secret of the dough. “ It was before 1914. Like today perhaps.

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