Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory

Monika’s Text Photo – Le Coeur net


Last Updated on January 16, 2021 by bricoleur

Coeur Net extrait

Extract from Chris Marker, Le Coeur net, Paris, Ed. du Seuil, 1950, posted to Facebook by Marker aficionado Monika Dac. Thanks Monika!

Rough translation…

–It’s a little myth of my own… Look, you for example, you still belong to a world without limits, one that is more or less the world of childhood. Your words, your acts, everything comes out of you and dissipates. You can think as you choose, dream of whatever experience, imagine whatever situation. And if in your dreams you always have the becoming role, its much less in response to a life that you do not know, than by the logic of your imagination. If everything is possible for you, why not choose the most pleasant. The day when your actions return to you as if hitting a wall, that is what I call the closing of the trap. Things close in around you. You are a prisoner. Whatever your freedom of spirit, there will be ideas that you will no longer be able to revisit, hopes that you can never envision except by the bias of the soul, almost by force. You will know exactly what you are capable of, all that has been lost for you, definitively, irreperably… I believe that one of the goals of a revolution should be to break these walls. Because then, everything that they teach us to endure and win the prize — constancy, lucidity, even this pride in living, is no longer but a kind of fidelity to the trap…”

When you learn French, you eventually come upon the task of the ‘explication du texte.’ I won’t undertake that exercise again here, but it is worth noting the influence of Sartre here, said to be Marker’s professor. Perhaps Sartre persists in Marker as a kind of superego of the human condition and revolutionary ideal, more and more faded as time goes on… Remember, this novel is very early Marker, a period he disliked revisiting in conversation…

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Chris Marker Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
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