Enter Colossus
in The fictions of Arthur Cravan
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This chapter descriptively recovers Cravan’s early years – part-mythologised by the poet Mina Loy, who named him ‘Colossus’ – as the Wanderlust of youth carried him across continents in the 1900s, years in which he became the aspiring poet modelled partly on his maternal uncle Oscar Wilde. The philosophical dimension here is to describe the processing and formation of subjectivity and representation; Cravan’s relation to and continuous negotiation of himself is presented as what will, in a very precise sense, be performed in the later mature ‘fiction’ Cravan. Concerning the process of subject-forming, Deleuze states how ‘subjectivation, the relation to oneself, continues to create itself, but by transforming itself and changing its nature … the relation to oneself is continually reborn, elsewhere and otherwise’.

The fictions of Arthur Cravan

Poetry, boxing and revolution

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