Cendrars and Book Arts

was fortunate enough to find Cendrars’ complete poems (trans. Padgett) at Moe’s in Berkeley and learned that his long poem “The Trans-Siberian…” was printed on a foldout sheet six and a half feet tall, with the poem on the right in multiple typefaces and different colored inks, and on the left a full length “pochoir” (a kind of silk screen) by Sonia Delaunay. They projected to make 150 copies, which would equal the height of the Eiffel Tower, (which illuminates the last line of the poem). They never made this many – a rare copy sold in 1991 for 100,000.

Also, in his poem “Panama” – the soft cover was folded vertically to constitute both front and back of the volume – copying an old Union Pacific train schedule and fitting in the pocket. Within the text, Cendrars reproduced, as stanza breaks, the schematic train routes from the American schedule, in variations on the Chicago Los Angeles San Francisco routes.

Does anyone know where I can SEE copies of these online? or in a text? they sound incredible – multimedia, book art, found objects…

Also, I am trying to locate a few essays that Cendrars wrote: “The Principle of Utility” and “Modern Poets in the Totality of Contemporary Life” and “Today’s Poets Confronted by the Science of Modern Linguistics” – the last two are important to me because i am working on translating Oswald de Andrade’s manifestoes written in 24 and 28 respectively and the Cendrars essays were given as lectures in Sao Paolo in 24.

If you have read these or know where to find them, please HELP! thanks

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3 thoughts on “Cendrars and Book Arts

  1. Hi

    I came across your posting while, you know, just googling “cendrars”…
    Here are a few images of “La prose du transsibérien”’s original edition :

    http://cernet.unige.ch/matieres/mdt/cendrars/cendrars1.html

    http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3ADE%3AI%3A2%7CG%3AHO%3AE%3A1&page_number=7&template_id=1&sort_order=1

    http://www.laurentcoulet.com/transiberien.htm

    As for the essays, I think they come from “Aujourd’hui”, published in 1931 in French, and I don’t know if there’s a translation available in English yet.

    Hope that helps,

    Thomas Grillot

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