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A Night Of Serious Drinking de René Daumal
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A Night Of Serious Drinking (1938 original; edició 2003)

de René Daumal (Autor)

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269499,232 (4.04)2
Both an acidic critique of society and a manual for learning how to think for oneself, this novel explores the abyss of the materialistic world and presents an initiatory journey in three parts. In the first, the narrator finds himself in an underworld full of drunks and eccentrics; he then ascends to a supposedly higher rung of society, populated by phony artists, politicians, and scientists who live in their artificial paradises with their false idols. Last of all is the awakening, the transformation into a new reality after getting to know himself better, rejecting the vicious cycles of alcohol and false wisdom.   Una ácida crítica de la sociedad y a la misma vez un manual para aprender a pensar, esta novela explora los abismos del mundo materialista y presentan viaje iniciático dividido en tres etapas. En la primera, el narrador se encuentra en un inframundo lleno de borrachos y personajes extravagantes; asciende después a un peldaño y que superior de la sociedad, poblado por farsantes del arte, de la política y de la ciencia que viven en paraísos artificiales con sus falsos dioses. Finalmente viene el despertar, la transformación hacia una nueva realidad luego de conocerse mejor, rechazando los círculos viciosos del alcohol y de la falsa sabiduría.… (més)
Membre:willard5991
Títol:A Night Of Serious Drinking
Autors:René Daumal (Autor)
Informació:Harry N. Abrams (2003), 121 pages
Col·leccions:Movies/TV Shows, La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
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A Night of Serious Drinking de René Daumal (1938)

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> LA GRANDE BEUVERIE, de René Daumal (Gallimard, L'imaginaire n° 165,1986)
Se reporter à la critique de Denys LELIÈVRE
In: (1986).). Compte rendu de [Commentaires]. Nuit blanche, (25), p. 21. … ; (en ligne),
URL : https://id.erudit.org/iderudit/20580ac
  Joop-le-philosophe | Aug 21, 2020 |
If this book were written by anybody else, it would probably be a two or three star book. It's a bit too plainly allegorical, its critiques of society were a bit too simplistic, and its concluding sentiment was a bit too tidy. But even with all these faults, it's the particularities of Daumal's humor, his fantastical inventions, his logical propositions that lead inevitably to a higher non-sense, his wordplay and wit, his sincere truth-seeking (always thirsting for transcendence), and his ultimate quirky vision that saves this book from its larger faults.

The parts are greater than the sum here. Perhaps Daumal knew this when he decided to include a 5 page index to this 113-page book (this is probably the shortest book I've ever read with a full index) with entries as varied as 'young people', 'timeless truths', 'axolotl', 'dietary systems', 'Jarry, Alfred', 'bicycle (made of gold)', 'Flatulencers', 'hashish', 'space (secretion of)', 'pre-actors', 'caterpillar', 'useless gestures (art of)', and 'ouroborism'. ( )
  JimmyChanga | Sep 11, 2013 |
“Philosophy teaches how man thinks he thinks; but drinking shows how he really thinks.”

Most of the way through this I kept it in my mental bookcase alongside Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman and Karel Čapek’s War With the Newts, as another artful late-1930s satire of European modernism. In a tradition going back at least to Rabelais, A Night of Serious Drinking skewers religion and education, propaganda and science, mathematics and poetry, ideology, philosophy, and art—but with a nod to the early-20th c. Dada and Surrealist avant-gardes. (The book jacket on my copy calls Daumal an ex-Surrealist, which probably means that he pissed off André Breton somehow.) What made the 1930s such a rich context for satire was the realization that the European Era was over; for Daumal, the prevailing between-the-wars pessimism evaded nihilism only by embracing the absurd—which he transforms into a kind of optimism in the end. I didn’t see it coming.

Part One, entitled “A labored dialogue on the power of words and the frailty of thought," finds the narrator among a group of drinkers in the front salon of an unfamiliar residence. A voice from behind the mantle insists on pontificating on the uses of language (‘If only you knew how much I’d like to stop talking, you wouldn’t be so thirsty’) and the narrator relates his encounters with a number of eccentric characters.

On the last syllable, the guitar exploded in Gonzague’s hand. One of the strings caught him on the upper lip. He allowed a few drops of blood to fall onto the back of his hand. Then he drained his glass. Then he jotted down in his notebook the rudiments of an extraordinary poem which would be plagiarized the following day and betrayed in every language by two hundred and twelve minor poets; from it sprang the same number of avant-garde artistic movements, twenty-seven historic brawls, three political revolutions on a Mexican farm, seven bloody wars on the Paropamisus, a famine in Gibraltar, a volcano in Gabon, a dictator in Monaco, and not quite lasting glory for the half-baked.

In Part Two, having stumbled up a staircase, the narrator is startled to discover ‘the universe in a garret.’ He is given a guided tour, and we get Daumal’s dark-comic disquisition on all manner of human foibles. Up here, excellence in all endeavors aims at uselessness, whether of household objects, new colors, scientific theorems, 'numbers which cannot be expressed, spaces shaped like espaliers or corkscrews, stretches of nothing with holes and bumps in it.' Thanks to picture books, 'children take no time at all to learn everything about art without ever having to create anything, everything about science without having to think, everything about religion without having to live.' People may turn into thermometers, bookworms, or pianos. The narrator encounters a heretic writing a book called A Night of Serious Drinking, which depicts the nightmares of lost souls, drunken and stupefied, stuck in a delusion of paradises until the cold harsh light of day and its unexpected revelations. Some people speak a language designed so that fallacy and imprecision cannot be expressed.

Some of them live in houses made entirely of glass which they call ivory towers; some in concrete boxes which they call glass houses; large numbers in photographic dark rooms which they call Nature; and many more in dog-headed baboon cages, vampire caves, penguin parks, performing-flea circuses, and puppet theatres that they call the world or society: and they all dote on and pamper one of their internal bodily organs, usually one with something wrong with it, such as intestine, liver, lung, thyroid, or brain, stroking it fondly, embellishing it with flowers and jewels, stuffing it with the choicest morsels, calling it “my soul,” “my life,” “my truth,” and they are always ready to launder in blood the most trifling insult to the object of their inner devotions. They call this “living in the world of ideas.”

The narrator’s ascension culminates with a scrum of gods, hunched over a trapdoor, lustily inhaling vaporous fumes and gestures of adulation from below. It’s Dante inside out at the Cabaret Voltaire with absinthe and Alfred Jarry.

In the final section, the narrator queries the reader as to the best method of extricating himself from his baffled condition. What has happened? Should he awake, as from a dream? Daumal refuses the neat dénouement. Having described the seemingly familiar from a perspective impossible to occupy in what we think of as the ‘real world,’ Daumal turns the tables on us. Is the narrator to be trusted? By the end, the reader is just as likely to question her own interpretation of the narration as to doubt the reliability of the narrator. We arrive full circle at the question of language and intention. The last few pages change the way we understand what we have been reading. The sensation is of falling up, as from a drunken stupor, into a bemusement that is oddly reassuring.
1 vota HectorSwell | Jul 12, 2011 |
Very weird and interesting... ( )
  danahlongley | Jun 23, 2008 |
Es mostren totes 4
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Cap

Both an acidic critique of society and a manual for learning how to think for oneself, this novel explores the abyss of the materialistic world and presents an initiatory journey in three parts. In the first, the narrator finds himself in an underworld full of drunks and eccentrics; he then ascends to a supposedly higher rung of society, populated by phony artists, politicians, and scientists who live in their artificial paradises with their false idols. Last of all is the awakening, the transformation into a new reality after getting to know himself better, rejecting the vicious cycles of alcohol and false wisdom.   Una ácida crítica de la sociedad y a la misma vez un manual para aprender a pensar, esta novela explora los abismos del mundo materialista y presentan viaje iniciático dividido en tres etapas. En la primera, el narrador se encuentra en un inframundo lleno de borrachos y personajes extravagantes; asciende después a un peldaño y que superior de la sociedad, poblado por farsantes del arte, de la política y de la ciencia que viven en paraísos artificiales con sus falsos dioses. Finalmente viene el despertar, la transformación hacia una nueva realidad luego de conocerse mejor, rechazando los círculos viciosos del alcohol y de la falsa sabiduría.

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