The result of a colloquium organized under the direction of Eliane Formentelli in 1978, marking the centennial of the birth of the poet Victor Segalen. A selection of unedited texts and photographs, two watercolors by Victor Segalen and selections from his manuscript Island Journal, sixteen black and white plates and two color plates.
Noël Mathieu, better known under the pseudonym Pierre Emmanuel, born May 3, 1916 in Gan (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), died September 22, 1984 in Paris, is a French poet of Christian inspiration. Elected to the Académie française in 1968. Pierre Emmanuel's poetic work remains one of the most important of the 20th century. In addition to his activities as a poet, Pierre Emmanuel also worked as a journalist, contributing to the newspapers Témoignage Chrétien and Réforme and to the Esprit review.
Gérard Macé is a French poet, essayist, translator and photographer born in Paris on December 4, 1946. His work mixes various literary genres and is relatively unclassifiable. He is notably a writer of living and creative memory. He is also a photographer of the floating world.
Jean Roudaut was born in Morlaix on June 1, 1929. PhD of literature (agrégé de lettres), he was professor of French literature. He has taught, among others, at the universities of Salonika, Pisa, Friborg (Switzerland). He regularly contributes to the Théodore Balmoral journal.
Henry Bouillier, born January 8, 1924 in Boulogne-Billancourt and died April 20, 2014, is a French academic and a bibliophile.
Vadime Elisseeff, born May 4, 1918 in Saint Petersburg and died January 29, 2002, is a French historian and art historian specializing in the Far East. Vadime Elisseeff's career is intimately linked to the life of the Cernuschi Museum in Paris - one of the rare museums in the West whose collections are exclusively devoted to Chinese art - which he directed from 1956 to 1982. And yet his professional activities, between UNESCO and the Documentation Center for Contemporary China, as its subjects of interest (East-West dialogue, the arts of Asia from prehistoric times to living artists, Russian art, among others) led him to have a much broader field of expertise. Director of the Guimet museum from 1982 to 1986, he had to impose the idea of undertaking large-scale work there, which was done by Jean-François Jarrige, his successor.
François Cheng was born in 1929 in Nanchang, in the province of Jiangxi. He is a writer, poet and Chinese calligrapher, naturalized French in 1971, member of Académie française since 2002. He is the author of numerous translations of Chinese poets into French and of French poets into Chinese, essays and monographs on Chinese art, Chinese thought and aesthetics, collections of poetry and novels.
Giorgio Agamben (born April 22, 1942 in Rome) is an Italian philosopher, specialist of Walter Benjamin, Heidegger, Carl Schmitt and Aby Warburg; he is particularly focused on the history of concepts, especially in medieval philosophy and in the genealogical study of the categories of law and theology. The notion of biopolitics, borrowed from Foucault, is at the heart of many of his works.
Eliane Formentelli is a specialist in the history of literature and a translator from Italian.
Henri Lavondès (1926-1998), doctor of letters linguist and mythologist.
Kenneth White is a contemporary Scottish poet and thinker, born April 28, 1936 in Glasgow. Theorist of “geopoetics”, poetics carrying meaning and thought, he alternates stories of “philosophical journeys” and refined poems maintaining a relationship with the elements (sea, earth, water, stone…). Although writing in English, he has resided in France since the late 1950s.
Diane de Margerie, born December 24, 1927, is a French woman of letters and a translator from English. Novelist, literary critic, short story writer, biographer, translator, Diane de Margerie is the author of a diverse body of work. Member of the jury for the Femina Prize, she herself received several awards. She has lived in China and Italy.
Victor Segalen (1878 - 1919) is a French writer, marine physician, ethnographer and archaeologist. After studying medicine at the Bordeaux Armed Forces Health Service School, the medical officer was posted to French Polynesia. There he wrote les Immémoriaux, published in 1907, a journal and essays on Gauguin and Rimbaud which were not published until 1978. In 1908, he left for China where he treated the victims of the plague epidemic in Manchuria. In 1910, he decided to settle in China with his wife and son. The first edition of Stèles was published in Beijing in 1912. In 1914, he undertook an archaeological mission devoted to the funerary monuments of the Han dynasty. This study on Chinese sculptures was not published until 1972 (Chine. La grande statuaire). In China, he met one of the rare Europeans who were there at the time, and who marked him a lot, the Belgian sinologist Charles Michel who inspired him with the character of René Leys. He died at the age of 41 on May 21, 1919 in the forest of Huelgoat.
In less than twenty years, in the midst of his multiple activities, Victor Segalen wrote a wide variety of texts: from ethnographic novels (Les Immémoriaux) to collections of poems in verses (Stèles, Odes, Thibet) and in prose (Peintures), short stories (Imaginaires) to travel accounts (Briques et tuiles, Feuilles de route, Équipée), novels (Le Maître-du-jouir, Le Fils du Ciel, René Leys) to essays (De l’Exotisme comme une esthétique du Divers, Le Double Rimbaud), from plays (Siddhârta, Orphée-Roi, Le Combat pour le sol) to archaeological work (Chine. La grande statuaire).
Première partie : Langage, espace
Victor Segalen, Dépouillement
Pierre Emmanuel, Lecture de Segalen
Gérard Macé, Figure du sosie : un double langage
Jean Roudaut, "Un poème : Le Tibet"
Eliane Formentelli, La marche du cavalier
Lettre de Victor Segalen à Andrée Lartigue (fac similé)
Victor Segalen, Sceaux. Page extraite du dossier "Histoire de l'Art en Chine"
Deuxième partie : Chine
Victor Segalen, Une orange exprimée, un grand vide
Victor Segalen, Sur la "compréhension"
Henry Bouillier, Le détour de la Chine
Vadime Elisseeff, Une Chine réinventée
François Cheng, Espace réel et espace mythique
Victor Segalen, Poétique Chinoise (fac-similé)
Victor Segalen, Fragments de littérature chinoise (fac similé)
Troisième partie : L'exote
Victor Segalen, Le Maître du jouir, extraits :
- Au milieu des monts odorants
- Le souffle maori
Giorgio Agamben, L'origine et l'oubli. Parole du Mythe et Parole de la Littérature
Henri Lavondes, Tahiti du fond de soi
Daniel Bougnoux, Regard sur Segalen
Kenneth White, Celtisme et orientalisme
Diane de Margerie, L'exotisme du moi
Victor Segalen, Projet d'un Conte (fac similé)
Table des illustrations