Raw Material [Matière Première] by Denis Roche, and For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise [Pour les Sexes: Les Grilles de Paradise] by William Blake. Paris: L’Energumène (31, Rue Victor-Duruy, 75015).
L’Energumène, a collection linked to the journal of the same name, presents a combined volume, unless it be only one book of mirrors and reflections. Denis Roche provides the reader with his translation of For the Sexes: The Gates of Paradise by William Blake. These are short poems which either frame a series of prints (run off by the poet on 17 May 1793), or provide them with a title.
Denis Roche does not utilize the traditional preface or introduction. Instead, he makes use of an ensemble of poetry, narrative, and criticism which might be characterized as poetic fiction or creative reading. It should be noted that there is often little more than a slight phonetic slippage separating poetics from politics. This is made apparent to the reader by the appearance of Fourier, Herbért, Restif and Sade in the black romantic and red revolutionary landscape of William Blake’s time, or of Denis Roche’s inner realm.
Denis Roche rereads Blake, follows him in his garden (where he and his wife played Adam and Eve), or into his studio in front of his plates, where he engraves his illuminations in the form of words and drawings. Denis Roche seeks out, brings to light, makes audible and visible that which constitutes for Blake (but also for himself, as author of Louve Basse) the raw material of writing—the bursting forth of words, images, and phantasms.
Reprinted by permission from Les Nouvelles Littéraires, 26 May 1976, no. 2534, p. 32. Contributed by Katharyn R. Gabriella and translated by Claude-Marie Senninger of the University of New Mexico.