Marcel Lecomte

Marcel Lecomte (September 25, 1900, Saint-Gilles (Brussels) - November 19, 1966, Brussels) was a Belgian writer, member of the Belgian surrealist movement. In 1918 he was introduced to dadaism and Eastern philosophy by Clément Pansaers. He also started to study literature and philosophy at the Université Libre de Bruxelles that year, but he left the studies in 1920. Between 1934 and 1945 he was a teacher at a secondary school, since then he was able to make a living by writing (especially to newspapers); from 1958 he also worked as a counsellor for the Brussels´ Museum of Art.

In 1924 he founded a group named Correspondance with Paul Nougé and Camille Goemans from which he was excommunicated the following year; however, they became close again thanks to common interest in surrealism. Yet he was not a strict surrealist, being more interested in the metaphysics of the dailiness.

Démonstrations, 1922
Applications, illustrated by René Magritte, 1925
L'Homme au complet gris clair, 1931
Les Minutes insolites [dix récits], 1936
Lucide, 1939
La Servante au miroir, 1941
Le Règne de la lenteur, 1943
Rencontre dans Paris, illustrated by Raoul Ubac, 1944
L'Accent du secret, 1944
L'Œuvre de Suzanne Van Damme, 1946
Rachel Baes, 1947
Le Sens des tarots, illustrated by Pierre Alechinsky, 1948
D'un nouvel espace, 1956
Univers et signes de Rem, 1957
Le Carnet et les instants, preface by Jean Paulhan, 1964
Le Cœur et la main, illustrated by Jane Graverol, 1968
Le Sens de la vie, illustrated by René Magritte, 1968
Le Suspens, 1971
Œuvres (L'Homme au complet gris clair. La Servante au miroir. Le Carnet et les instants), 1980
Les Minutes insolites, note by Jean Paulhan, 1981
Les Voies de la littérature. Choix de chroniques littéraires suivi d'une bibliographie établis par Philippe Dewolf, coll. "Archives du Futur", 1988
Le Regard des choses. Choix de chroniques artistiques et de préfaces d'expositions établi et annoté par Philippe Dewolf, coll. "Archives du Futur", 1992
Comment j'ai entendu une jolie fille se faire dresser par un spécialiste suivi de Le jeune Gérard, 1995

"Even though Lecomte – in a seemingly Breton-ish way – reads reality as a net of mysterious signs as surrealists do, he (unlike the author of Nadja) doesn't look for an apparition of unknown essence or decisive, world-changing (and radically new) truth behind it. The illusion of hidden finality which voids the facts of their substance for the benefit of eternal future revelation of their true meaning is a trap into which Lecomte did not let himself be lured. All the significance of disturbing signals his exacerbated receptivness caught from a look from an unknown woman, from the genius loci of certain places or simply the silhouettes of the passers-by, all that becomes one with the intensive experience, it completes itself in situ and at that actual moment. This significance is further enriched only by comments and thoughts by the poet. The miracle is not about escaping our closeness in time, but in a paradoxical opening of the freedom's space within a moment and in grasping this space." (Petr Král, 1996, in afterword to Marble tastes best when cold, an anthology of Belgian surrealism, page 205. Used by permission of P. Král.)


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