Apollinaire On Art Essays And Reviews

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Significantly, he funded his early literary endeavours, setting up his own brief periodicals (‘The Immoralist Review’), by ghost-writing erotic novels (there’s an entire alternate history of literature and high art in Paris being funded by smut – take Maurice Girodias’ Olympia Press which funded the work of Troochi, Miller, Beckett and Burroughs, a story for another time).

A naturally gregarious person with a child-like élan for pleasure and play, he ingratiated himself with everyone who was anyone.

It would be tempting to paint him as a sort of Zelig, the ‘Where’s Wally’ of bohemian Paris, but that would be unfair, for arguably Apollinaire became central figure in the scene, the fulcrum which linked the writers with the artists and the dynamo that encouraged all these erratic talents.

For a decade, the area flourished as an artistic citadel to a degree arguably never seen before or since, the list of artists and writers who lived there (Matisse, Braque, Modigliani, Utrillo, Alfred Jarry, Raymond Radiguet etc) an embarrassment of riches.

In the midst of this daunting collection of genius and narcissism, Apollinaire became indispensable.


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