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Le Contre-Ciel

Translated by Kelton W. Knight


Kelton W. Knight and Central Washington University

René Daumal's Le Contre-Ciel is a collection of poems about death, not a death that ends life but a death that begins it. For this early 20th century French poet-philosopher, Life, in its most dynamic sense, can only be experienced after the facade of self identity has been systematically negated through a kind of metaphysical suicide. In Le Contre-Ciel, Daumal invites us, his readers, to go through this process of regeneration-through-negation with him in order to revive in ourselves a knowledge and understanding of our primordial sources.