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Luca’s The Passive Vampire,1 his first properly surrealist work, finds him in possession of a tool, at once real and symbolic, and a point of contact that enables him to move between two worlds: from the universe ruled by the Oedipal myth, situated under the sign of the Absolute General Paralytic, to the world of our inner desire; the former means death to the latter. The tool is the ineffable lever of the dialectic and the point of contact with nothing other than the unconscious, arising within the endless realm of undirected and uncontrolled thought. With leverage thus obtained, he invests himself with a passion that offers no prospect of return, and gives over to a course of action at once demiurgic and delirious. The Inventor of Love,2 published in the Romanian edition (Editura Negarea Negatiei) in 1945 together with Journey into the Impossible and The Dead Death, constitutes a decisive phase in this process: the explicit construction of the NonOedipal universe. His single sentence — Everything must be reinvented, nothing exists anymore in the whole world — resonates as a leitmotif throughout the text. Birth, love, and death are realities that hold captive the “axiomatic man of Oedipus” propagated like an “obscurantist epidemic” for several thousand years. To refuse birth to such a man, to reject every axiom “even if it has the appearance of certainty” — such is the proposed solution to prepare for the arrival of the man without a past, unmoored and without preconceptions. Love, above all, must be reinvented; and the poet takes the liberty to not love a being already created by God. Luca’s singular ability to give substance to abstractions on this terrain becomes a demiurgic exercise. The “New Eve” will escape the vicious cycle. Constricting and suffocating set for us like a perfidious trap the rigid biology of man

1

Completed November 18, 1941 and published in French (Bucharest: Editions de l’Oubli, 1945). The Passive Vampire would be published in a French edition only in 2001 (Paris: José Corti). Recently, the Romanian manuscript of Vampirul pasiv was discovered in a private archive in Bucharest; parts of it were carefully dated by Luca: November 1, 1940, January 31, 1941, February 22, 1941, and November 18, 1941. 2 Luca would revise the text to be published in French fifty years later: L’inventeur de l’amour suivi de La mort morte (Paris: José Corti, 1944).

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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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