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This interview is taken from PN Review 214, Volume 40 Number 2, November - December 2013.

Philippe Soupault in Conversation, translated by Gregg Ellis Bernard Morlino
Living, for me, is daily entertainment.
                                                 - Philippe Soupault

Philippe Soupault was born in 1897 and died in 1990. He was a French poet, novelist, essayist, playwright, art reviewer and editor, and also wrote programmes for radio. His bibliography includes over 75 titles. The majority of his work, however, is not very well known; he is most often cited as one of the early Surrealists and the co-author, with André Breton, of The Magnetic Fields.

At the end of the twenties, Soupault left the Surrealist group to pursue his own freedom and travelled extensively throughout the world as a journalist and director of overseas French radio. He continued to write poems until the end of his life.

The following is an excerpt from an interview conducted by Bernard Morlino when Soupault was 90. It is taken from Bernard Morlino, Philippe Soupault, Qui êtes-vous? (Lyon: La Manufacture, 1987).


BERNARD MORLINO: Do you save the best of yourself for writing?

PHILIPPE SOUPAULT: No! That's for love. I have really loved to love and I still have a need to love my wife, Ré. What's more, my sad poems were either written during a separation or for my cruelties and rudeness. That's for sure.

Was it a tour de force that you never used complicated words?

No, but it was done on purpose. I hate gaudy words. It seems to me that a poet must have the ability to express himself or herself in ...


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