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DANIELA CASCELLA: 31 DAYS, SLOW AND STILL
31 DAYS READING LE PONT MIRABEAU BY GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE AT 8.30AM – FOR RADIO BOREDCAST
Le pont Mirabeau is a poem by Guillaume Apollinaire, published in his 1913 collection Alcools. In response to the theme and the structure of As Slow As Possible/Radio Boredcast, I chose to record myself reading Le pont Mirabeau at 8.30 in the morning for 31 days, anticipating and mirroring the duration of the broadcast in a different place and at a different time.
I chose this poem because of its slow flowing against its slowing into stillness – the flow of water, time and words in the stanzas against the circularity of time in the refrain. The adjective ‘slow’ appears still in the third stanza, the same one that contains ‘love’, ‘hope’, ‘violent’. The adjective ‘still’ appears slow in the refrain, as an impossibility. In the original French poem, ‘slow’ rhymes with ‘violent’ and ‘still I stay’ with ‘hours’.
The lack of punctuation throughout the poem calls not only for a flow of words, but also for different rhythms and meanings arising out of each reading. The readings always took place in my office, sometimes as dedicated recordings, sometimes while I was preparing to go out, sometimes while I was reading the paper or checking the news online. I learned the poem by heart, so sometimes the recordings mirror my small hesitations and gaps in recalling the verses. An old phonograph recording of Apollinaire reading the poem (from the Archives de Parole, Collection Phonothèque Nationale - Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris) supported some of the readings.
Daniela Cascella is an Italian writer based in London. Her research is focused on sound and listening across a range of publications and curated projects. Her most recent work explores Writing Sound in connection to landscape and memory, and fictional tropes in criticism. Her new book En abime: Listening, Reading Writing. An Archival Fiction will be published by Zer0 Books in September 2012.danielacascella.com
|Daniela Cascella||31 Days, Slow and Still - 31 Days Reading Le Pont Mirabeau by Guillaume Apollinaire at 8.30am - for Radio Boredcast|
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