The Henry Miller video we posted on Friday has led us to an Eastertime revelation. It can be summed up in two words: Blaise Cendrars.
Miller praised the French writer as “my idol,” and says, “what a writer learns from Cendrars is to follow his nose, to obey life’s commands, to worship no other god but life.”
Cendrars’ poem “Easter in New York,” written exactly one hundred years ago, is one of the foundation texts of modern literature. (You can hear it being read in the original French here; English translation here.)
Relatively unknown in this country, Cendrars has been called “the son of Homer.” He’s considered by many writers to be the poetic genius of the age, the creator of modernism, the chief influence on giants of literature. Just to name a few of his friends and admirers: Hemingway, Picasso, Leger, Matisse, Apollinaire, Cocteau, Delaunay, Braque, Modigliani, Eisenstein, et al.
With all that, he once told an interviewer he did not consider himself an artist. “I’ve had thirty six professions and I’m ready to start something entirely different tomorrow morning.” read more…