Malcolm de Chazal
Green Integer Books, Los Angeles, 2009; originally published 1948 (in French), English
Nonfiction, General
ISBN: 9781933382678

From the Publisher. The Mauritian writer Malcolm de Chazal’s great masterwork, Sens-Plastique, was published in France in 1948, with a preface by Jean Paulhan, a year after its publication in Mauritius. Since that time, the work has attained a near-legendary status and readers have discovered in de Chazal’s brilliant aphorisms what the author himself described as a synthesizing of a "new view of life" requiring a unique title. "I finally settled on Sens-Plastique because apart from the fact that it seems to say that everything on earth is sensuously connected to everything else and that we all belonged to the same mold, 'plastic' suggests art in all its forms. I liked that because I consider my whole enterprise to be more of a picture than a book."

Although two previous selections of Weiss's remarkable translations of this major work have previously been published (first by Herder and Herder in 1971 and then by Sun in 1979), no complete edition of the translation has been available until now.

As W. H. Auden, writes in the Foreword to the 1971 edition, "Sens-Plastique has now been a companion of mine for nearly twenty years, and so far as I am concerned, Malcolm de Chazal (1902-1981) is much the most original and interesting French writer to emerge since the war." Now all English-language readers can share the joys of the aphoristic writing which Auden calls poetry written in prose.

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Daniel Libeskind

A book that can never be exhausted—showing that someone from Mauritius can be more cosmopolitan than someone from New York or Paris.

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