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The Powers of the Word: Selected Essays and Notes, 1927-1943

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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  44 ratings  ·  2 reviews
Since his death in 1944, René Daumal has come to be recognized as one of the original minds of the twentieth century French letters. Poet, essayist, philosopher and translator, Sanscrit scholar and pupil of Gurdjieff, Daumal was a founder of the Grand Jeu group. He was iconoclastic and electic, able to embrace simultaneously Alfred Jarry’s Pataphysics and Hindu teachings.

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Paperback, 171 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by City Lights Publishers (first published April 18th 1972)
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Nate D
Jul 08, 2014 Nate D rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: very earnest pataphysicians
Recommended to Nate D by: the last visible dog
Found shoved into the dollar shelf outside the Strand between Novel with Cocaine and Blood and Guts in High School. I snapped up all three.

I wonder if this has any overlap with his Pataphysical Essays? (Will probably have to wait for Jimmy on this.) "On the Life of Basiles", for instance, I expect.

I'm not really the best reader of pure theory, but there are some solid essays here. I actually gleaned quite a bit from "The Limits of Philosophical Language" which synthesizes metapatterns from class
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Derek Woodgate
Exhilarating and inspirational. Rene Daumal was an amazing philosopher and thinker and a scholar from the Gurdjieff School. Great pieces on The Grand Jeu/surrealism and Hindu poetics. Iconoclastic one of the four "Simplists" - sort of extension of our childhood freedom of ideation, imagination and thought, Daumal pursued a life of forging connections from disconnects and nomadic transitions from one devotion to another in a struggle of ideas. Brilliant man, in the time of wild, abstract thought, ...more
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René Daumal was a French spiritual surrealist writer and poet. He was born in Boulzicourt, Ardennes, France.

In his late teens his avant-garde poetry was published in France's leading journals, and in his early twenties, although courted by André Breton co-founded, as a counter to Surrealism and Dada, a literary journal, "Le Grand Jeu" with three friends, collectively known as the Simplists, includ
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