ARAGON Louis (1897-1982)

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ARAGON Louis (1897-1982)

MANUSCRIPT autograph signed "Aragon", Une histoire contemporaine : Claude-André Puget, [1947] ; 22 pages and a half in-4 (some edges slightly frayed).
Preface for the collection of poems by Claude-André PUGET, La Nuit des temps (Clairefontaine, 1947).
"Where does singing come from, and who is the singer? What is this whispering madness in a young man, who is awakening...What is this music in him, this need to communicate it to others through arrangements of words, arbitrary surely...
They say he's a poet; he makes verses... ...] This century is a deep and dark well, and if I lean over the edge, there are so many inexplicable things at the bottom! A poet, too, is the creature of time. He thinks he's free, he invents his romance, he moves on and starts singing. How are the Sinhalese poets, or those from Carcassonne? Some write for the eyes, and others are only voices, and I have known poets of absence, who took their greatness from what they did not say. [...]
It was around 1920, at the age of seventeen, in Nice, [...] that Claude-André Puget wrote the first poems that have come down to us from him!" .... Arago then goes through Puget's poetic work, since his first book Pente sur la mer... "It's a poetry of the fall. That's why she despises the drums, the rhyme. It is an extraordinary thing that a song that is a song only to be held back. This young man whom we still hear, what trouble was he expressing, what trouble to these common poems, what sadness so different from the complaints of the time of the Pleiades or this nostalgia for Lamartine that one would have thought, taking him at his word, even at twenty years old, still on the verge of death? ...] I am not talking about influence: I note the analogies of singing over a fairly short period of time in French poetry, as if in a given time singers could not get out of certain informed rules, out of a certain vocal framework, where singing bends to new traditions, as demanding as those of the sonnet or the sextine. I like these first books where the very young men give more of themselves than it seems"... Etc.
Aragon continues to explore and comment on Puget's various collections, making numerous quotations, to end with The Night of the Times: "Yes, we are at a turning point in the century, at a threshold of the human adventure, and at this place of passage it is necessary to know how to read the variations of poetry the variations of man. I followed this poet step by step for twenty years, and he could only seem to follow his reverie, but I know, however, that like the reflections of a fire on the clouds, these variations from red to black by pink came from an outside and distant blaze. Nothing is arbitrary in poetry, although we think so.
And it is only at that moment when the poet's voice seems in reality to get lost, that it finally sings, that it fills the heart with its music, and the eyes with tears, at that moment when poetry with man's destiny merges, in La Nuit des Temps".
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