June 13, 2021
From Libertarian Labyrinth
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Bibliography:

  • Georgette Ryner, “Oh ! l’affreux rêve,” L’en dehors 3 no. 27 (début Janvier 1924): 2.
  • Han Ryner, “Ma fille, être nouveau,” L’en dehors 3 no. 27 (début Janvier 1924): 3.
  • Georgette Ryner, “Un rêve fou,” L’en dehors 3 no. 29-30 (20 Février 1924): 2.
  • Georgette Ryner, “Si je retournais dans votre pays,” La pensée française 4 no. 71 (31 mars 1924): 14.
  • Georgette Ryner, “Les mots d’amour,” La pensée française 4 no. 71 (31 mars 1924): 14.
  • Georgette Ryner, “Espoir…,” L’en dehors 3 no. 44 (1 Octobre 1924): 1.
  • Georgette Ryner, “Notre enquête sur l’École Unique,” La pensée française 4 no. 84 (13 octobre 1924): 16.
  • Georgette Ryner, “Vivre!,” L’en dehors 3 no. 45/46 supplément (20 Octobre 1924): 2.
  • E. Fournier, “Vivre (à Georgette Ryner),” L’en dehors 3 no. 48 (15-30 Novembre 1924): 3.
  • “Vivre,” L’en dehors 3 no. 53 (22 Février 1925): 1.

DANS LA RONDE ETERNELLE

  • Dans la ronde éternelle

LIVRE PREMIER: LE BAISER DE LA MORT

  • Arthédice la blonde
  • Si je retournais dans votre pays
  • Le Baiser de la Mort
  • Et puis !
  • Oh ! l’affreux rêve
  • Vivre
  • Ceux qui passeront
  • Venez près de moi

LIVRE DEUXIÈME: LA STATUE IMPARFAITE

  • Ah! comme elle était belle
  • L’étoile du bonheur
  • Jamais bonheur ne vint

LIVRE TROISIÈME: LES MOTS D’AMOUR

  • Les mots d’amour
  • Un rêve fou
  • Tendresses
  • Tout bas
  • Pourquoi, petit enfant ?
  • Pourquoi, es-tu venu ?
  • Dialogue
  • Quand ton âme
  • Celui que tu as choisi
  • L’âme-sœur de mon âme
  • Ah ! le noble jardin

LIVRE QUATRIÈME: MON CHERS PETITS ENFANTS

  • Mes chers petits enfants
  • Berceuse
  • Deux puissances

———————————————

  • Dans la ronde éternelle

 [translation in progress]

In the Eternal Ronde

PRELUDE

In the Eternal Ronde

What have you come to do in the round-dance, in the eternal ronde of the living—tomorrow the danse macabre and ronde of the dead? What have you come to do then, pretty little children?

— We have come to dance, to play and to sing—and then we will set off again for the land of mystery. Will our eyes retain a memory of light and flowers? Will our hearts hold a memory of love and kisses, when we have returned to the land of mystery?

— What have you come to do in the round-dance, in the eternal ronde of the living—tomorrow the danse macabre and ronde of the dead? What have you come to do then, kings and crowned princes?

— We have come to reign, to enjoy and subjugate the world—and then we will set off again for the land of mystery. Will our eyes retain a memory of nations on their knees? Will our hearts hold a memory of the tears and blood spilt, when we have returned to the land of mystery?

— What have you come to do in the round-dance, in the eternal ronde of the living—tomorrow the danse macabre and ronde of the dead? What have you come to do then, poets and savants?

— We have come to seek, to sing and to embrace the world with enthusiasm and love—and then we will set off again for the land of mystery. Will our eyes retain a memory of the beauties glimpsed, of the truths discovered? Will our hearts hold the memory of our comforting creations, of the aid rendered to our fellows, when we have returned to the land of mystery?

— What have you come to do in the round-dance, in the eternal ronde of the living—tomorrow the danse macabre and ronde of the dead? What have you come to do then, anonymous crowd, crushing multitude ?

— We have come to cry, to suffer and to die—and then we will set off again for the land of mystery, from which we came without knowing why! And, in a few years, no memory will remain of our hard labor and our trials. And we, who are no more, will retain no memory in our eyes, hold no memory in our hearts. So what it is that we have we come to do in the eternal ronde?

BOOK ONE: THE KISS OF DEATH

Arthédice the Blonde

Who will be the friend of Arthédice the blonde?

Naos, old already, covets the flower that has not yet bloomed. But the eyes of Arthédice smile at the future and her shaking head says: “The one that I love will be young, happy and handsome.”

Who will the joyful Arthédice choose for her fiancé? Clytos, pale and thin, brings to her a heart already weary of love. The heart of Arthédice is pure and her shaking head says: “The one that I love will be strong and good.”

Who will be the husband of Arthédice the beautiful? Lydus, young and loving, offers her his arms, opens to her his heart. But Arthédice, young and pretty, dreams of wealth and parties: “My husband,” she says, shaking her “should bring me pearls and diamonds.”

So who will it be, the love of Arthédice the blonde?

Here he comes!… Old as the world, he arrives, all whiteness and clattering bones on his black horse: he takes the hand of Arthédice, closes her eyes, and carries beauty and agony off to somber death!

If I Returned to Your Country

If I returned to your country, how sad it would be—this return to the once-beloved county, to the country where you are no longer!

In the staircase, as I climbed, I would meet four men carrying down a heavy crate : It would be you, alas! The little that remains of you.

Through the door, when I knocked, I would no longer hear your joyful step. My heart, which beat, saying: “It is her”—my heart would beat more deeply and its hasty would say to me: “It is her no longer! It is her no longer!”

Inside, I would seek and await your presence in vain: “Will she not come at last? Why does she let me continue my visit in this way? Does she not know that I am waiting, that I grow worried and distressed?”

In the somber little church, I would take refuge to let my sadness flow: a bier would be erected, all black, with silver fringes, all black among the blazing lights!

I would flee to the peaceful fields. A noise of chains, of earth falling, heavy, on wood, would awaken me from my torpor.

I would kneel down beside the grave: your bones would seem to me as they will be soon, gnawed and crumbling, and your body would seem to me already delivered to the worms.

If I returned to your country, ah ! how sad it would be—this return to the once-beloved county, to the country where you are no longer!

The Kiss of Death

Always, everywhere, it is necessary to struggle—but my heart is made for calm and my heart’s desire is peace.

Everywhere, always, I encounter the indifferent—but my heart is made to love and my heart’s desire is love.

There are days — rare days — when I call out for the peace of the tomb: the kiss of death.

My whole body shivvers before the rot to come, my  mind takes fright at the deep oblivion, the dark shroud, that will soon cover my being.

But why, always, everywhere, it is necessary to struggle, when my heart is made for calm and my heart’s desire is peace?

Why, always, everywhere, do I encounter the indifferent, when my heart is made for love, when love is my heart’s desire.

This is why, often, I call out for the peace of the tomb, the kiss of death.

I would like to depart in the fullness of youth, carry all my illusions into death, my heart virgin of stains and suffering, my enthusiasm unfurled like a banner on the day of victories. Why wait for it to be withdrawn again in the bitter blast of disappointment?

Since, always, everywhere, it is necessary to struggle, when my heart is made for calm, when peace is my heart’s desire!

Since, always, everywhere, I encounter the indifferent, when my heart is made to love, when love is my heart’s desire!

They are numerous, more and more numerous, the days when I call out for the peace of the tomb, the kiss of death.

And Then!

I want to love!
I want to feel!
I want to shine!

And then it will be death that comes, suddenly: the death that will freeze my heart and shatter love, the death that will destroy pleasures like fragile glass, the death, vast fire that will consume the glory and leave only ashes!

And then it will be darkness, immobility in the narrow box, and then it will be the house draped it black; it will be, perhaps, the absence of any real pain, the candles that symbolize nothing, the muttered, soulless prayers, and then it will be the grave, and then it will be oblivion!

The Frightful Dream

Oh! The frightful dream I had that night!

A high mountain where I climbed, joyful, in beauty, light and love!

Surrounded by flowers, fragrant scents, friendly hearts, here I am—oh, victory!—on the summit. A desire overwhelmed me: to remain there forever and always savor the happiness that welled over from within me.

Suddenly, I roll onto the other slope, black, hideous; the mist thickens around me; all those that I love have disappeared and my groping hands seek then.

Oh! The frightful dream I had that night!

Faster, in an ever-accelerating rush, I descend the rough slope; nothing can hold me back. I roll in the dark unknown. An unfathomable abyss opens beneath me; I fall, I fall. Where, then, will my fate carry me?

Oh! The frightful dream that is life! Oh, the frightful dream that death must be!

To Live

To live, to gather flowers along the road, to make a fragrant spray of them, to breathe in their perfume, mixed with the pure air; to feel oneself infused with the scents of springtime, with the soft caress of the sun,

…and suddenly to no longer be!

To live, to move forward, the wind, love, life swelling your chest; to look at everything with your curious eyes, to admire mountains and vales, to climb, to scale, to leap, to race from peak to peak, always higher on the summits, closer to the heavens, in the white immensity;

…and then one day to stay forever underground!

To live, to feel your heart beat so strong against your flesh; to love everything and not be sated with love: the birds, the flowers and nature, the children with the adorable gestures, divine smiles, that we would always love to hold, little ones, upon our knee; to love the unfortunate, to cry for their misery, to love, to love infinitely,

…and then one day to love no more!

To live and to wish to understand; to live and to wish to know; to live and to want to create; to study, attentively, all the faces of existence, all the agonizing problems; to feel strong, ready perhaps to solve one of the enigmas posed by the terrible sphinx and to cry out, joyfully:

I have discovered! I have understood! I have created! I have conquered!

Then to fall, laid low, to no longer think, no longer seek, no longer be!

To live, to live and then to die!

* * *

Those who walk upon my grave
Will read, indifferent, a date and a name
And my bones will be cold.

Those who read the poor lines
By which I try to outlive myself
Will say: “She was and she passed on”
And my bones will be cold.

However, someone, I hope,
Will catch my soul in my lines:
“She has loved; she has suffered”
They will say, shedding a tear.
And then my bones will no longer be cold.

 * * *

Come close to me, my children.
You see, I am going to leave,
And I feel my soul detach itself from me.
Will it soar, luminous,
To seize the astounding mysteries,
Will it return to a body,
Or will it dissolve into nothing?
I do not know, my dear childen.

Remain well in me, my children,
And this heart that will go cold
Your love will revive.
When you speak of me
In death my bones will quiver,
I will have less fear, I will be less cold.
My spirit will come among you.
I will live in you, my children.

My life will be perpetuated in you,
In your bodies that I have formed.
Your blood is made from my blood,
I see your my again in your eyes.
I leave my soul in your soul,
Your mind dreams my dreams
And my projects are your projects.
My life is a ring from the past to the future.
No, I do not die, my children.

[…]


[VARIANTS]

If I Returned to Your Country

(La pensée française)

If I returned to your country, how sad it would be—this return to the once-beloved county, to the country where you are no longer!

In the staircase, as I climbed, I would meet four men carrying down a heavy crate—and it would be you or what remains of you.

Through the door, when I knocked, I would no longer hear your joyful step. My heart, which beat, saying: “It is her”—my heart would beat more deeply and its hasty would say to me: “It is her no longer! Will I never see her again?”

Within, I would seek and await your presence in vain: “Will she not come at last? Why does she let me continue my visit in this way? Does she not know that I am waiting for her?”

In the somber little church, I would gather my thoughts, let my sadness flow: a bier would be erected, all black with silver fringes, all black among the blazing lights!

I would enter the peaceful fields: the noise of chains, the sound of earth falling, heavy on the wood, would awaken me from my torpor.

I would kneel down beside the grave: your bones would seem to me already gnawed and your body delivered to the worms.

If I returned to your country, ah! how sad it would be—this return to the once-beloved county, to the country where you are no longer!

English adaptations by Shawn P. Wilbur.

[Parallel French/English on next page]




Source: Libertarian-labyrinth.org