Posts tagged Roger Caillois
Repeated from my 50 Watts post on The Writing of Stones:
Roger Caillois (1913–78) is a fascinating literary figure, “neither an academic nor a journalist, neither a scientist nor a researcher, nor could he ever be termed an ‘intellectual,’” in the words of Denis Hollier, though he was elected to the Académie Française in 1971. After studying with Kojève and Mauss, in the ’30s Caillois played a role in early Bataille projects like Acéphale and the College of Sociology. His first book, The Necessity of Mind—written at twenty but published posthumously—deals with the praying mantis, but contains lines like “I wanted to cross the border of my skin, live on the other side of my sense” (making me wonder how he got on with Daumal and Gilbert-Lecomte). He was responsible for salvaging from oblivion one of my favorite books, Jan Potocki’s Saragossa Manuscript (basis for the movie). A well-regarded anthologist and a protégé of Jean Paulhan, Caillois introduced Borges and Carpentier and many other Latin American writers to France (he lived in Argentina during the war). He also wrote a novel about Pontius Pilate and founded and edited Diogenes. You can sample his essays in The Edge of Surrealism: A Roger Caillois Reader and read a little more about him on wikipedia.
Also in English: