Leaves of Hypnos

ISBN: 0670422568
ISBN 13: 9780670422562
By: René Char

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20th Century Aphorisms Favorites France French Literature Library Pernod Flavoured Poetry Spirituality To Read

Reader's Thoughts


I like the lyrical, but I don't like war.


I have the Mushinsha edition of this book, which is gorgeous, as are all Mushinsha books.

Guillaume Sionis

Les Feuillets d'Hypnos (Leaves of Hypnos) are mostly short aphorisms written by René Char when he was fighting nazism under the cover name of "Capitaine Alexandre" in the French Resistance during WW2. Sometimes Char is hard to read, but les Feuillets are extremely direct, strong. They speak of the confrontation of death with betrayal, and of the regression to a out-of-Time mankind, guided only by lights of friendship.


"The color black contains the impossible alive. Its mental field is the seat of all the unexpected, of all paroxysms. Its prestige escorts poets and prepares men of action."I feel like this text could engage with Bataille's Guilty. They both address the second world war, and they are both concerned with a limit, an existence, and the void (Bataille being one of my primary interests, it's worth pointing out that, according to biographical information, Char and Bataille were friends. This is apparent, I think, in Char's writing.)This is aphorism as poetry. I can feel the impossible in these words, but there is a more tangible strain present here than in Bataille (and it is in the arms of Bataille that I have to approach this book). It is beautiful, but there is the terrible war that runs beneath it, that lifts the words to the elevated position in which they sit.Also, the Mushinsha-Grossman edition of this book is completely beautiful."Lucidity is the wound nearest the sun."

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

I can't even describe how much I love this book--and how much I wish this copy were mine, rather than the library's. This is the major reason why I hate to check books out from the library; if I love the book, I still have to return it.

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