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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Blaise Cendrars

The Invention of Life

A new account of the life and work of innovative, pseudonymous French poet, novelist, essayist, and film writer Blaise Cendrars.
In 1912 the young Frédéric-Louis Sauser arrived in France, carrying an experimental poem and a new identity. Blaise Cendrars was born. Over the next half-century, Cendrars wrote innovative poems, novels, essays, film scripts, and autobiographical prose. His groundbreaking books and collaborations with artists such as Sonia Delaunay and Fernand Léger remain astonishingly modern today. Cendrars’s writings reflect his insatiable curiosity, his vast knowledge, which was largely self-taught, and his love of everyday life.
In this new account, Eric Robertson examines Cendrars’s work against a turbulent historical background and reassesses his contribution to twentieth-century literature. Robertson shows how Cendrars is as relevant today as ever and deserves a wider readership in the English-speaking world.

304 pages | 7 color plates, 32 halftones | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4

Biography and Letters

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“The book is authoritatively well-informed about Cendrars’s life, the historical background, and relevant literary theories that support the many original and insightful commentaries on his work. It is these very accessible discussions and analyses of individual books that establish this as a valuable contribution to literary scholarship.”

Andrew Rothwell, professor of French and translation studies, Swansea University

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