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The Poet Assassinated

3.9  ·  Rating Details ·  174 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Apollinaire was Modernism's first champion, and after his early death in 1918, he became its first saint. Lying in a hospital bed in 1915, recovering from combat wounds suffered in World War I, Apollinaire assembled the fragments of a tragicomic, mock-epic and occasionally obscene autobiography-a-clef: The Poet Assassinated. This novella recounts the life and death of Cron ...more
Paperback, 158 pages
Published February 2nd 2004 by Exact Change (first published January 1st 1968)
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Watchfiends and Rack Screams by Antonin ArtaudThe Poet Assassinated by Guillaume ApollinaireExploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician by Alfred JarryBlue Octavo Notebooks by Franz KafkaMaldoror and the Complete Works by Comte de Lautréamont
Exact Change Press
2nd out of 8 books — 1 voter
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86th out of 98 books — 5 voters

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Community Reviews

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Glenn Russell
Jul 25, 2014 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing
Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), poet par excellence of the early 20th century Parisian literary world, inventor of the word ‘surrealism’, champion of cubism and other innovative forms of modern art, wrote ‘The Poet Assassinated’ in a hospital bed recovering from shrapnel wounds inflicted during World War 1. Reading this novella is like entering a dream world of a De Chirico cityscape or the montage of Max Ernst – and every couple of paragraphs the surreal panorama shifts – one of the most uni ...more
Eddie Watkins
Oct 04, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: french-fiction
Written with such knowing innocence and off-the-cuff verve, these stories could be nothing less than infectiously charming. There's nothing else like them. While riding the various ripples and waves of early Modernism like a cubist surf jockey with a top hat, Apollinaire infuses his writing with a refined Medievel primitivism and a fairy tale spontaneity; but within the jauntiness are embedded wounds, emotional depths, and wisdom - all qualities you'd expect from the man in this photograph, wher ...more
Jesse K
Feb 24, 2008 Jesse K rated it really liked it
Books on Exact Change, while never lacking in quality, can be a little dense on occasion. That's probably why this one languished on my shelf for a bit. It was actually extremely easygoing and remarkably funny. While it's an important historical document, it definitely lacks the level of pretense that the title would seem to indicate.
Jan 30, 2013 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
In parts amazing. I loved "The Deified Invalid". Spotty, rambling, infectiously buoyant, profound and puerile. About what I expected from the man who coined the term, "surrealist". I seem to remember that he was trepanned (had part of his brain removed) after an injury in WWI. I wonder if that was before or after he wrote this.
Jun 21, 2008 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I actually have this in a hardcover version, but didn't feel like searching too hard on here for it. Anyway, this is another of my absolute favorite collections of short stories. If you are into what the surrealists were doing in the realms of painting and film, you owe it to yourself to read some of these stories.
Jan 24, 2016 David rated it liked it
Shelves: oui-oui
One of the granddaddies of Surrealism doing his thing for short stories. And some really creative ones. The titular story is not great though. It has one of those daft pseudo-plays where characters enter for one line and immediately depart forever.
Aug 30, 2016 Sonnet added it
My brother bought me this for my birthday. I'll have to text him & ask why he hates me.

Painful. Awful... I left it on the bus.
Adriano Godinho
interesting way of putting things.. the short story of the same name "the poet assassinated" is really better than the others, but all of them have something interesting.
Jul 31, 2007 Mitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous book, great stories, translated by Ron Padgett, whose translations from the French always set the bar high.
kind of starts out like Ubu Roi then turns into Little Poems in Prose.
the shorter stuff is better than the longer works.
Ben Loory
Jun 13, 2008 Ben Loory rated it it was ok
i had no patience for this. i think it was supposed to be a fun crazy romp, but it just seemed like a silly romp to me.
Aug 14, 2012 Georgy rated it it was amazing
The shorter stories in my opinion are better, than the main one. It becomes vibrant and interesting near the end.
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Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire (in French pronounced [ɡijom apɔliˈnɛʁ]) was a French poet, writer, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother.

Among the foremost poets of the early 20th century, he is credited with coining the word surrealism and writing one of the earliest works described as surrealist, the play Les Mamelles de Tirésias (1917,
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