Article Title

A New Play By Apollinaire


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

In July 1914, Guillaume Apollinaire, who was at that time the leader of the Parisian avant-garde, composed an important pantomime in collaboration with three other artists: A quelle heure un train partira-t-il pour Paris? (What Time Does A Train Leave For Paris?). The only copy of this work known to exist was recently discovered by the present author in a private library in the United States.I Modeled on a 1913 poem by Apollinaire, "The Musician of Saint Merry,"2 the pantomime featured a scenario by Apollinaire, "music by Alberto Savinio, sets and staging by Francis Picabia and Marius de Zayas" according to the title page. Unfortunately,. no contributions by the latter three individuals have been discovered-if indeed these ever existed. For the outbreak: of World War I one month later prevented the collaborators from going ahead with their plans to electrify the avant-garde with their revolutionary new work. In 1917, concurrent with the production of The Breasts of Tiresias, Apollinaire apparently attempted to revive his original project as a ballet, but his death in 1918 effectively relegated this project to oblivion.3 While the 1914 scenario is ostensibly Apollinaire's independent creation, it is readily apparent that his fellow collaborators contributed various ideas that helped to determine the eventual shape of the pantomime. Analysis of influential currents and cross-currents reveals, as we will see, · that Apollinaire was indebted to the Italian Futurists as well.

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