by Blaise Cendrars, Monique Chefdor (Editor, Trainslator), Esther Allen (Translator)
Published in 1992 by French Modernist Library
Blaise Cendrars was the pseudonym of Frederic-Louis Sauser (1887-1961), a Swiss-born poet and novelist. A contemporary of Apollinaire and Max Jacob, and a friend of Chagall and Modigliani, he must be reckoned with as a prophetic voice. Of all the avant-garde writers, he was the one most attuned to our age; hence the title of this collection of his short prose works.
Modernities represents the poet at his most intense. The seven essays consider modern artists, many of them his friends and associates, and their altered relations to a new world of communications technology, advertising, and mass politics. These essays are daring and inventive in their expression of the sense of simultaneity—far more so than the “official” artistic manifestoes of their period, the first quarter of the twentieth century. Because most of the selections have never before been translated and have been hard to find, this volume brings to the English-language reader for the first time an essential part of the European voice of the avant-garde.