The Selected Poems of Max Jacob

The Selected Poems of Max Jacob

The Selected Poems of Max Jacob

The Selected Poems of Max Jacob

Synopsis

"These brilliant poems, these multifaceted diamonds, reflect back upon us even now as valuable informants on contemporary poetic style and as sheer, stand-alone genius. Kulik's translations are topnotch" -- Rain Taxi

Excerpt

Friday, August 12, 1916, a sunny day in the middle of the war. Jean Cocteau has his mother's camera, taking an afternoon's worth of photos of "the Picasso gang" hanging out at the Rotonde, hamming it up on the boulevards of Montparnasse. With Pablo and his latest mistress are the painters Ortiz de Zarate, Moise Kisling and Modigliani, poets André Salmon and Max Jacob. Max, always the dandy in fitted suit, bowler, monocle and walking stick. Max the irrepressible, brilliant conversationalist, his greatest work, Le cornet à dés (The Dice Cup), hidden in a trunk because he isn't sure it's any good. Max the hypersensitive, masking his anguish behind what many called compulsive downing. Student of astrology and numerology, believer in the Kabbala, Jew turned Christian after his 1909 vision of Christ on the wall of his room, only baptized ("Cyprien") six years later as one priest after the other doubted that the revelation of this strange man was authentic. Picasso believed, in it and in him, but even though he stood for him and Max invariably began his letters to the painter with "Dear Godfather," their long, intimate, intensely productive relationship was by this time frayed, mostly because of Picasso's wealth and fame--and Max's lack of either.

From their first meeting, in 1901, when Max, then an art critic, enthused over the unknown painter's work, the two became close friends: the little Jew from . . .

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