Moravagine is the last, degenerate heir to a long line of Eastern Europe noblemen. Fascinated by this man, the physician helps him escape then shares his picaresque travel around the world, bumping from Russian terrorists to American natives, in a trail of crimes. Finally they return to Europe just in time for World War I, when "the whole world was doing a Moravagine. This contrast contributes to the peculiar feelings some readers have when reading the novel.
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At the Realschule in Basel in he met his lifelong friend the sculptor August Suter. Finally, in , he left school due to poor performance and began an apprenticeship with a Swiss watchmaker in Russia. While living in St. Petersburg , he began to write, thanks to the encouragement of R. Supposedly fourteen copies were made, but Cendrars claimed to have no copies of it, and none could be located during his lifetime. In , the Bulgarian poet Kiril Kadiiski claimed to have found one of the Russian translations in Sofia , but the authenticity of the document remains contested on the grounds of factual, typographic, orthographic, and stylistic analysis.
In many ways, he was a direct heir of Rimbaud, a visionary rather than what the French call un homme de lettres "a man of letters" , a term that for him was predicated on a separation of intellect and life. Like Rimbaud, who writes in "The Alchemy of the Word" in A Season in Hell, "I liked absurd paintings over door panels, stage sets, backdrops for acrobats, signs, popular engravings, old-fashioned literature, church Latin, erotic books full of misspellings," Cendrars similarly says of himself in Der Sturm , "I like legends, dialects, mistakes of language, detective novels, the flesh of girls, the sun, the Eiffel Tower.
He signed it for the first time with the name Blaise Cendrars. Most notably, he encountered Guillaume Apollinaire. Cendrars called the work the first "simultaneous poem". Some were tributes to his fellow artists. When it began, he and the Italian writer Ricciotto Canudo appealed to other foreign artists to join the French army.
He joined the French Foreign Legion. He stayed with Eugenia in her house in Biarritz , in a room decorated with murals by Picasso. At this time, he drove an old Alfa Romeo which had been colour-coordinated by Georges Braque. He was a friend of the American writer Henry Miller ,  who called him his "great idol", a man he "really venerated as a writer". In , his friend Amedeo Modigliani painted his portrait.
Later years[ edit ] Cendrars continued to be active in the Paris artistic community, encouraging younger artists and writing about them. For instance, he described the Hungarian photographer Ervin Marton as an "ace of white and black photography" in a preface to his exhibition catalogue. His youngest son was killed in an accident while escorting American planes in Morocco. Details of his time with the BEF and last meeting with his son appear in his work of Le lotissement du ciel translated simply as Sky.
He finally published again in He died in His ashes are held at Le Tremblay-sur-Mauldre. His literary estate is archived in the Swiss Literary Archives in Bern. The French-language Association internationale Blaise Cendrars was established to study and preserve his works. Works[ edit ] Blaise Cendrars, circa
Moscou, Sozonov, Avec huit bois de Frans Masereel. Paris, Seghers, Le Panama ou les aventures de mes sept oncles. Paris, Au Sans Pareil, Feuilles de route, I. Le Formose.
At the Realschule in Basel in he met his lifelong friend the sculptor August Suter. Finally, in , he left school due to poor performance and began an apprenticeship with a Swiss watchmaker in Russia. While living in St. Petersburg , he began to write, thanks to the encouragement of R.