To be an American in Paris
in The fictions of Arthur Cravan
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In this chapter, Cravan’s Paris installation from 1909 onwards is documented, a period in which the ‘fiction’ Cravan is constructed and enters a culturally combative zone. Central to the discussion is representation, the fluctuating appearances of the world that achieved precedence for twentieth-century phenomenology, now moderated by Deleuze’s radical critique and re-thinking of appearances not as the appearances of some world but rather as appearances in themselves, without foundation of the experiencing mind or subject. This is a logical structure by which to read Cravan, progressing the anti-representational orientation of Nietzsche’s majorly critical corpus on metaphor, and proposes Cravan’s first published work in 1909 as a proto-manifesto of simulation; in this first Paris phase, for instance, the poet became a French national boxing champion by not boxing (by never being the thing he became). This chapter expands the idea of Cravan becoming what metaphor is – a means to represent the world – oriented to the ‘mapping’ in his Paris Address Book of those intellectual and artistic circles which would prove to be Cravan’s object of critique.

The fictions of Arthur Cravan

Poetry, boxing and revolution

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