André Breton wrote: 'The hereafter, the entire hereafter is in this life.' So did Gellu Naum, the Romanian surrealist poet born in 1915. Zenobia, which he considers his main work, is one of the most beautiful texts of the surrealist International. Populated with grimacing silhouettes and characters in tatters, it tells the story of an old man saved from the world chaos and the deceitful game of appearances by a woman, Zenobia the initiator. A love poem, an invitation to a different world, a descent into one's deep self, this long poem in prose written between 1979 and 1984 tackles fundamental ideas. Alga or fish, gargoyle-headed jellyfish or water gnome, only a reader ready for any abandons will be able to dive into this thrilling adventure that sums up the words of a furrier from Bucharest: 'And we, the others, who were still alive, thought ourselves dead and walked on, dumbfounded.'
Lire, September 1995

by Catherine Argand