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only once.” Reinventing love is therefore no mere matter of receiving the full thrust of sense impressions and thereby of re-connecting with reality, but also demands self-transformation, a return to a primordial, somehow virginal state: here, that of a match before it has been lit. Isn’t this imagery also rather conventional? Breaking out of routines — here perceptual and conceptual, elsewhere social or religious — and re-establishing within oneself a kind of innocence or purity ready to receive the Other fully, has often been put forward by writers as the necessary, if not sufficient, condition for attaining genuine love. Similar ideals circulated among the European Romantic poets, whom Luca in fact disparages by means of his own ideals, sarcastically dismissing, in The Inventor of Love, for instance, that ideal woman, unchanging, remote, whom the Romantics made almost accessible to us in their lyric opium den and whom we seek in vain at the four corners of the earth [...] Gradiva or Cinderella once encountered cease being one with their own fragrance and become two mere wives and model mothers [...] that ideal woman to whom we aspire only with the desire not to find her or, once she is found, to lose her... In contrast, at the end of The Passive Vampire, recently translated by Krzysztof Fijalkowski, the character Déline, a “young woman of 21 [who] has the experience in love of a 40-year-old and the mind of an initiate,” is Luca’s ideal portrait of an anti-“ideal woman.” Note the nouns and verbs that the name “Déline” connotes: délice (delight), délier (to untie, to free), délinéer (to outline), délire

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Profile for Contra Mundum Press

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

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