Cosmopolis and chance meetings: internationalist symbolist avant-garde

Cosmopolis was a magazine published in London and New York, 1896-1898. It had three sections, German, French and English. In May 1897, Cosmopolis printed Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem, “Un Coup de Des,” for the first time. (Available in English translation, with the French, here: http://www.tonykline.co.uk/PITBR/French/MallarmeUnCoupdeDes.htm)

Albert Dupont, born in 1951 in Hanoi, Lettrist, explorer of “Art-Rebus,” and friend of Roberto Matta, uses “Un coup de des” like this:

Gilles Deleuze staked everything on it, the house, the car, you, me and life and creation in particular.

John Cage used it in 4′ 33″, which you can now hear here:

And then, like his old chess partner, Marcel Duchamp, the two are pictured below with Teeny, he used it in just about everything he composed.

I was going to talk about the transatlantic liner of flight: how, while engaged in killing generations of its own, Europe sent those artists and philosophers and artist-philosophers we still know, because they survived two world wars, to the U.S.; and then, how, after, the latter returned the favour by sending back an avant-garde, raised in America on the work of the European, in people like Robert Wilson.

– photograph by Lesley Leslie-Spinks

– Robert Wilson’s Deafman Glance (in collaboration with Raymond Andrews), 1970

– Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach (in collaboration with Philip Glass), 1976

– Robert Wilson’s POEtry (in collaboration with Lou Reed), 2000

By this last image you might be getting what I mean: Wilson’s productions had become too expensive for American theatres (or the theatres had become too cheap); and look at the graphic backdrop. “Un coup de des” is still there, albeit in German.