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tional Surrealist Exhibition in Paris with a text, “Le Sable nocturne,” proposing an encounter in a completely blackened room with sixteen objects intended to provoke erotic responses — a “knowing through misunderstanding” — and listed entities that were now virtual, almost philosophical propositions rather than concrete bodies (“An immense crystal, impulsively scented, on the face of a feather”).46 Luca’s work of the post-war period, on which his principle reputation rests, appears to move away from the theme of the object, and towards a focus upon language, performance and image instead. But while the poetry of this section of his life is usually characterized precisely by a lack of easilydefinable things — dealing instead with concepts, states, conditions — every now and again an enigmatic, philosophical object surfaces. “Héros-Limite,” the poem which gives its title to Luca’s first collection of works to be published in Paris, in 1953, is organized around an obsessive enumeration of the morphology of sixteen objects apparently made up of holes (the final object characterized as a zero (‘hero’), as an infinite and metaphysical limit).47 Among the intricate wordplay and allusive descriptions of impossible forms, it would be easy to miss that the matrix of this poem lies in all probability in physical things: metal sheets, punctured with holes — the remains of some industrial process for stamping out die-cut circles — on the borders of ‘thinghood,’ are the real objects behind this apparently hypothetical proposition, a reminder that Luca’s ideas always move towards concrete reality.48

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Luca et al., “Le Sable nocturne,” op. cit., 56. Ghérasim Luca, “Héros-Limite,” in Héros-Limite (Paris: Le soleil noir, 1970; second edition) 13–24. 48 See the photograph of Luca with one of these perforated metal sheets in Cahiers de l’Abbaye Saint-Croix, No. 110, p. 17. 47

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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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