Pierre Alféri. Life Lines. 2016

source: European Graduate School Video Lectures    2017年3月16日
http://www.egs.edu Pierre Alféri, Professor of Poetry at The European Graduate School / EGS. Saas-Fee Switzerland. August 8 2016.
Pierre Alféri is a French novelist, poet, and essayist currently based in Paris. In addition to being a professor of poetry at The European Graduate School / EGS, Alféri teaches at art schools in Lyon, L' École des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, and in Paris, L'École des Arts Décoratifs de Paris and L'École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris.
Alféri earned a degree in philosophy at the University of Paris and published his thesis on William of Ockham (Guillaume d'Ockham le singulier) in 1989. Two years later Alféri published another philosophical essay on questions of language and literature, Chercher une phrase (1991), although he chose not to pursue an academic career in philosophy. Rather, his interest in language and philosophy led him to poetry, in which he has become one of the leading innovative French poets working today and has since published several books of poetry, including: Les Allures naturelles (1991), Le Chemin familier du poisson combatif (1992), Kub Or (1994), Sentimentale journée (1997), La Voie des airs (2004) as well as the novels Fmn (1994) and Le cinéma des familles (1999), and Les Jumelles (2009).
In several works, Alféri experiments with language formulas and reflexive writing without falling into the trap of empty lyricism. At the same time, he does not want to abandon the idea of composing a poem with a certain distance. For Alféri, prose is not a genre, nor is it the opposite of poetry. Instead, in his writing, all categories merge and stretch to compose a form that is constantly reinvented and connected to the surrounding world, while maintaining a critical distance. Alféri's verse tends to be short and irregular, often using fast cuts and breaks, as if to signify the difficulty of achievement and the refusal to be chained up.
In one of his widely praised collections of poems, Kub Or (translated into English as Oxo by Cole Swensen), Alféri uses the concept of the bouillon cube, with each poem two-dimensionally reflecting a side of the cube. The book consists of seven poems; each poem is made up of seven lines, and each line is composed of seven syllables. Being not only a propitiatory number, a good omen, and a number of daily life, the number seven also challenges the dominant prosody in French poetry, and the use of even-numbered syllabic lines. This asymmetric meter produces cuts, surprises, and overlaps, as each poem describes an aspect of modern Paris in seven short lines. With their interest in the minutiae of modern life, these poems often focus on the media—cinema, TV, advertising—as well as the artifacts of low and high culture. Pierre Alféri takes the reader on a journey through the streets, commercial life, politics, and music of modern life, and examines to what extent the figures of the past inhabit the consciousness of the present. As a poet, he is not alienated, but always prepared to engage actively with the variety of experiences he encounters. Conversely, this engagement is expected from the reader as well—if the poems are bouillon cubes, the mind of the reader is the boiling water needed to dissolve them and fully taste modern life.

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