The premiere issue of POINTS was published in the early part of 1949, the imprint reading No 1, Fevrier-Mars 1949. The budding literary adventure was underwritten financially by Sindbad Vail’s mother, Peggy Guggenheim.
Commentary © James A. Harrod, COPYRIGHT PROTECTED; ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The format of the first four issues was slightly larger than octavo measuring 7” x 9” with subsequent issues conforming to the standard octavo size.
A loose insertion in the first issue invited writers to submit their works for possible publication. Manuscripts in French were to be submitted to Marcel Bisiaux and those in English to Sindbad Vail at the magazine’s address, 75, boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris (6˚).
The printer’s certification confirmed the date that the issue was on the presses. In a later issue of POINTS Vail related the history of the journal and how, being the optimist, he committed to having 5,000 copies of the first issue printed. The print run was soon trimmed to 1,000 as the reality of selling a small literary journal became apparent.
(first page contents)
Contents of the first issue:
ALFRED KERN - The vocation of Francis Leger
BEN FENNER - Voices from the Italian tour
PIERRE LEYRIS - Three stories from the Roman Violier stories
MELTON S. DAVIS - Apartment in Paris
Aleksey Remizov - Neighbors
HOWARD THE FAY - The streets of Naha
ANDRÉ Dhôtel - We always can not whine
SHARON SCIAMA - To sit at the heart of ict angle
TOM A. CULLEN - One Bath Single
MARCEL BISIAUX - The Hotel - The Girl - The Cold
ROY Bongartz - The end begins in about five minutes
MARCEL SCHNEIDER - In the race of the deluge
Mervyn JONES - Readjustment
GAOUA GASTON - The metamorphoses of Sébastien Velpuche
JACQUES BRENNER - Critical presentation
SINDBAD VAIL - critical Presentations
The editor Who selected the submissions in French, Jacques Brenner wrote Some commentary on the authors and Their works (in English) and Sindbad Vail Who edited the submissions in English Provided His commentary (in French) Reproduced below.
It is a mistake to speak of a crisis in Periodically literary production. There is no such thing. It is simply que la shoulds That Works arent really be spoken about. Literary criticism in France and probably in Most countries today is much too much Concerned with metaphysics or politics. Most critics find it much e asier to write about the political implications of a book than about icts intrinsic artistic value.
Novelists STILL EXIST
André Dhôtel is India e d by the writer Whom the old tradition of the novel is best kept today. That is the reason why he writes stories of adventure. His books are fresh and lively, exposed to all the winds of imagination They Are goal as the picture of a very unusual universe, bears of course, seen from an original angle goal.
One feels That Dhôtel, he HAD to choose entre Freedom and Grace Would prefer the lathing and That In His readings (he teaches philosophy), he must devote much time to His instincts. Indeed He Has Chosen His Placed ounce and the characters m in a position Given he lets' em grow like plants or animals. Freedom is behind 'em. That uncertain apprehension That Strengths em on the paths of the human and is poetical worlds Almost an abandonment to an interior hidden fatality. Two major characters inDhôtel's last novel Constantly use the words "automatic" and "mechanical." What finally Brings back the feeling of liberty is the share Played by "Chance" ie the unexpected (by us) events. And Mainly Instincts That REMAIN quite mysterious. The characters do not pretend t o know Themselves and do not try to justify Themselves. They are definitely not intellectuals ... Sooner or later the logical appearance of Andre Dhôtel's works Will Be spoken of.
One can always find an In His books unusual girl, Sometimes several. Although complex Their Clearly Described are, They sccm Most of the time to act more selon HAS s ubtle law. What is really the matter with 'em? Dhôtel says of Juliet in The Plateau Masagran: "Her retorts Were so quick and so precise never Knew That She When She Was she sincere goal undoubtedly About About About About About did not hide what she tho.U ght No,. the Dhôtel ian heroine is not false. She is simply Thrown into the world and live must. She is the the the the the carried away by her own life. She obeys without answer ask ask ask ask asking questions. Purpose it is right people around her que la and the readers shoulds run Themselves Against the mystery she Seems To preserve: "One Does not Know theothers. "(And how badly one knows oneself!)
Psychological life is undoubtedly very differs n t from everyday life. Some do without it and Motivates Most men act Without Any reasoned. It is one of Dhôtel 's strong point to make us feel it so well and it is at the time one of the Sami rea s ons why His novels shoulds be quite successful i n --other countries Where the ratio-cination of French authors shock. .. It is not with a drowsy head goal with Enthusiasm and emotion That One finishes David Gold Nulle Part.
His work is full of contrasts too: for instance, betw e in the basic simplicity of life and the extraordinary variety of facts he reports.
Let us not forget this life --other opposition entre 's wickedness HASn of the beauty of this world, human gentleness That qui Dhôtel tries to convincingly make us feel.
Dhôtel can not choose entre natural or social order. He takes an anarchistic Compromised is hi s very own. Thi s award of hi s s hould express His conception of the world as we l l as His conception of the novel: "Everything can be connected by a thousand plowing and the ultimate chance."
THE UNDERSTANDING OF DAILY LIFE
Like Andre Dhôtel, Alfred Kern Studied philosophy. He aussi Studied history "und leider auch Philosophy", and he Likewise Liberated himself from Any conventional system. He remains alert and interrogative.
In His major work Le Jardin Perdu he Introduces us to a young man Who the night before His wedding tries to find out Where he stands and goes back to His childhood. He realizes what That He Was created as a child the man He Has Become. Kern evokes childhood with uncommon accuracy and easiness. It Is Even More than evocation year: for the first time we are ble to see a child, and not distorted through the adult's eye.
Kern Does not only believ e in social influences, in The Almost indelible stamp of first encounters, sensations and feelings of early. He aussi Believes In the astral influences and the final Judgements of time. His own experiences Makes _him_ recreate the old myths. He very concretely exposed eternal human problems and point them out as Belonging to a child's world.
Purpose Kern 's short stories That forces us to end Ourselves are realistic documentation on the life of average people. His characters can be humble bank clerks, civil servants modest. He Does not want 'em to be a Sisyphean gold Prometheus. His world is one of reality. We believe he way que la myths units to daily life shoulds suffice to Attract attention. Purpose --other aspects de son works are Equally remarkable. Let us at least mention the liveliness of the narrative, the brilliant unfolding of the plot and the intimate relationship entre His style and thought.
Marcel Bisiaux's short storie s are on the Contrary Openly and fabulous in A Most unusual way. Fortunately Does not one feel Any neo-surrealistic influences In His writing. Bisiaux descri b are things the way he Would Have liked to see them. He so m etimes Suppresses A Few details to interrupt the logical sequence of events, and adds Sometimes Sometimes transposed.
We all Know That two spectators never see la même thing nor feel the Sami way. Marcel Bisiaux presents us with His Own Particular vision, purpose "exagerates" to be Clearly Understood. By showing us things the way he saw 'em, he wants us to feel the way he felt. He Suppresses the demarcation line entre what things are and What They are to us. Objective Between truth and subje c tive truth (qui Could Be poetry called Expired Expired Expired Expired Expired). He Prefers to feel than to reason.
One can al s o det e ct in the way Bisiaux wrote the No. tales, a Refusal to make a difference entre experience and imagination. He Prefers the award de son sensibility to-any sort of knowledge. He Has anyhow, a horror of problems and definitions. It is unusual to His power of His sympathy That he owes ama z ing intuition, all the better Expressed By His indifference to grammar. He wants to express himself with absolute freedom and overcomes Any hindrance to it. He masters His field with a magnificent spirit.
THE PATHS OF Invisibility
One i s not surprised to find Alexei Remizov, probably the WIDER Most contemporary Ru ss ian writer, am o ng Bisiaux's favorite authors.
Born in 1877 Remizov now lives in Paris Surrounded by s strange objects, wire dolls, cloth puppets, seaweeds and lob s ter'sc l aws. He is a little bent old man with an unusually clever face. Although he Complains de son bad sight, His eyes are sparkling with sharpness, intelligence and sympathy. When in front of _him_ One Is Overcome by respect and affection Both.
Alexei Remizov is difficulty to Understand, Even in Russian. Because he is an artist Above All. Very Few de son works-have-been printed yet. Many publishers-have HAD His books translated, Most translations goal Could not be published. Mercenary translators can not do justice for _him_ They Are Unable to render His poetry.
Purpose if he i s Difficulties Remizov is Easily Understood by Those Who know how to deal with the fabulous and do not only admitted what a lo n g HAS tradition Taught Them to accept.
Remizov is in the tradition of the great Russian authors.
He Has Dostoevskii's anguish in front of man 'sfate, His Almost pathological sensitiveness, His compassion, His sense of reality and complicity with the powers of Evil HOWEVER Who he fights.
Like Gogol, he is familiar with the provinces, appreciates Their peculiarities, obscure Their Most legends; like him, he is not interested in the Obvious, Has the Saami ease for working on the absurd to Attain superior AIMS, and aussi His fascination for dreams .
Like Leskof, he distrusts fabulous traditions, loves common people's tales, authentic materials and Even current events. It Would not express Remizov still completely Call Call Call Call Call To Say That He Has Dostoevskii's demoniacal spirit, Gogol 's whimsical and provincial mind, goldLeskof's fanciful imagination and friendly. He is an artist and Above All Proves Such as himself: About About did he point out In His story "Chinese", Russian writers arent Accustomed to attach much importance to style. Remizov though, is fascinated by words and nothing is more captivating than the composition de son w o rks.
The qualities de son style stand out so Effectively In Some translations is That One time time time time time immediately struck by His power. It is in Solomonie the possessed That One readily appreciates thesis qualities. Thi s story i s the sordid picture of the bondag e and aberrations of the fl esh, with the demons m ischievously calling out to the girl:"Satan, our father, HAS creat e d All That is life It is he Who has Given the craving earth icts. Joy. Bow love b efore _him_, and You Will REMAIN with us Where Life is gay." Horror, poetry, realism, and mystery
Compensate Each Other truth in this story, That We Consider one to be His Best. It was translated by Gilbert Lely. Jean Chuzeville aussi made great HAS Some French translations of Remizov.
A GREAT TRANSLATOR
If We had to name Some remarkable translators Would certainly we think of Pierre Leyris. His translation of King Lear - Melville's Benito Cereno and Pierre - Emily Dickinson's Letters - Dickens' Great Expectation s and Mugby Junction - and finally TS Eliot, are justly Praised.
Leyris is a critic as well as a translator. He Has Often essays written preface to the"Chosen" book, for Leyris HAS HAS Work That probably never translated About About About About About did not express His Own In Some Way interests.
The perfect elegance and beauty of ict translations, as well as the deep understanding and skill de son Criticisms, make us wonder That he shoulds-have Chosen to express himself through --other poets only.
A YOUNG AND TRANSLATOR A Novelist
Marce l Schneider, who is a translator aussi (To Whom one is grateful for a remarkable French translation of "Six TicketsFavor "of Sigfrid Siwerts) must be Regarded one of the best r epresentatives of only o -romanti c i s mid Three influences are noticeable. No _him_: t h e tal s of the Round Table, German romanticism year of surrealism. O n e must observe in works Such as The Granit and the Lack and Pick Ie rosemary His idealism, the importance pm e ties to feelings, His Love for Nature and for the fabulous.
. These two books definitely do not belong to-any literary circle now in vogue, purpose are Strongly in the tradition of the love story Schneider Often s p reads poetry out like a protective screen entre His reason and himself: "It is with joy That I Renounced to the use ofreason, "writesGranite ... (page 99), "in order to plunge into the inexpressible, and I found great peace in That feeling everywhere, I Was nowhere, Overwhelmed and powerless, free and vanquished, insignificant and valuable, a child in one world, a God."
The transition is skillfully single Arranged entre reality and mysterious lands Where the shadows and reflections of the poetical imagination play. We like to be transported to and still believe i n fairy tales.
A YOUNG AUTHOR
We Would like to finally add a Few words Were Young writer, Gaston Gaoua Whose first novel is Appearing in this review. It is a strange and absorbing adventure story.
Gaston Gaoua is the Year of icts wide forehead in the French government. He Travelled a lot and saw Many Things. His life is more extraordinary than Even His book. He Asked us to unde r line That "all the characters and ...Circumstances. "What! Could this be a true story?
JAC Q UES BRENNER
Jacques Brenner, In His presentation critiqtie of Section French c e tte magazine goes to great lengths to analyze the Purposes means clustering clustering clustering and clustering of various icts colleagues.
I can give the Wrong Reasons That made me choose al a borat e hearts of the English language section, the first thing to say of 'em, HOWEVER, They Are all being white white white white re the ativement or absolutely unknown.
Five of em are of US soldiers form, now living in Paris, Where They are pursuing studies varied e s ,, with varying,, Happiness. Roy Bongartz has-been "published" twice. The first in the everyday of his vile the e hometown (Dayton, Ohio), the second in the European edition of the "New York Herald Tribune" which printed His impressions of 'a trip to Spain.Bongartz: has a lot of imagination. It Will Acquire probably much t technical OT still missed and when to to to to _him_ 'He Will find a better ending toHis stories he can keep the promises "Th e end begins in about five minutes" Seems to do.
Tom A. Cullen is Significantly older than Bongartz (Gives it to about thirty- Five years). He probably less imagination than it is least expected. He's probably in His form profession to postpone His taste for specific facts or what we con s idérons today as Such. Aim it Brings' em a good mood That Allows us to experience AD the aisir CERTAI n to Reading His stories of the tragedies of daily life in Paris and Will find, if we are already wise, of Reasons'Becoming.
Melton Davis HAS Substantially la même age as Cullen and enjoys' HAS Some journalistic reputation. His style and his ideas-have nothing 'special, mais writes a g réablement and importan thing t e knows the focus of the reader. His style Could Be Compared To That used in F v eur weekly by a famous New Yorker.
Howard The Fay: has a Vingtain e of. Years It is ardent and passionate. His humor is bitter, His s e ns sour dramatic. It Seems to me q ue icts "S t reets of Naha "is, in parl e rd as' arestaurant, "first class". Continuous If Fay in this leadership it must Become One of the dominant figures of e the American literature.
Ben Fenner About About About did little writing and is interested more in music That 'inliterature. I do not know enough about the ensemb the e work of ict risk to a definitive judgment on His literary qualities. If "Points" Publishes icts first gr e s new is That It Seemed to us very distractinge. We n 'more-have no illusions That icts author is the originality of "Voices from an Italian tower."
S i we try to get an imprint of the whole generation of These five young Americans, we See That comm e all others, They Still Suffer Greatly Influenced the g rand writers of "twenties": Faulkner, Dos Passos, Erskine Caldwell and Especially Hemin g way. After reading the news That "points" Publishes aujourd ay, no one can-have Any doubt about the countries 'origin of Their authors. Aim it is after-all our feeling That' There are nothing crimine l or Even regretted b To Suffer it The Good influences. gold Hemingway Faulkn e r About About About did the Good e Cons to Give.
The English language section of our first issue includes aussi two works"No -. American "The'a' Readjustment 'is œuv r ed' a young Englishman, Mervyn Jones. Jones is a craftsman in mind lucid and dense at a steady hand. II n 'has much left to learn aboutthe art of writing a new one.
The only poem published today "Points" is the work of Sharon Sciama, a young French aussi at ease in English than in His Mother tongue. I can only advise you not to neglect "to sit at th e angle of His heart." The Art of Miss Sciama sensitive and is delicate and poetic imagination is as lively as His taste for sure.
Twenty issues of POINTS Were published from 1949 to 1955. A short story collection Was also available presenting a selection of stories HAD That Appeared in Previously POINTS.
Additional Information regarding André Dhôtel can be found at the Following link: