For tired feet, take a Baladine
, a little, sevenseater, electric vehicle.
(A balabos is a Jewish host or master of a house, and a baladine
is a professional dancer--M-W.)
Beck's prose text incisev (Nantes: MeMo, woo) has been compared to a musical score (see Eric Suchere's review in CCP 2, 2 (2000): 71-2), and Isabelle Baladine
Howald's review of Chants populaires suggests that Beck extracts musicality from the Grimms' tales: CCP 15.
Howald's Secret of Breath opens onto an apocalyptic scene: "Fleeing as quickly as possible, leaving clothing, furniture, / closet doors open, chairs overturned, no matter." In the rupture of this opening, it appears that the secret of breath, so to speak, is a kind of breathlessness, the desperate gasp that takes in air piecemeal in a world fraught with danger and loss, "one deprived of everything." To apprehend anything at all here is a mode of survival.
The notion that this impulse to write in French is somehow not of his own volition is a persistent one, frequently invoked in the context of his later French compositions, where it is often presented as an almost irresistible 'temptation', as in this quotation from a letter to 'Merline' (Baladine
Klossowska) of 21 September 1923: 'Dimanche dernier j'etais comme poursuivi par une dictee spontanee de vers (?) en francais.
SUNDAY MORNING TAKE a trip on the river cruiser Baladine
on the Garonne and Canal du Midi lasting from 35 minutes up to four hours, (pounds 3-pounds 14).
As the first sentence of this quotation shows, there is a clear association between des Esseintes and Herod, while Salome is "la baladine
qui arrache a un vieillard, [...] un cri de desir et de rut" (144).