The Heresiarch & Co.
by Guillaume Apollinaire
Translated by Rémy Inglis Hall
168 pages, paperback
A collection of outrageous short stories about heretics, provincial romantics, and adventurers in crime, The Heresiarch & Co. was Apollinaire’s first book, and reportedly remained his favorite. Making full use of his encyclopedic knowledge of obscure historical, ecclesiastical, and geographical information, Apollinaire’s stories rely neither on the dream, nor on juxtaposition, but nonetheless represent a technique that André Breton called a “formula” for Surrealism; its “music,” he said, is “like gold pebbles rolled in a torrent.” Apollinaire himself wrote about The Heresiarch & Co., “This is a book for those who love literature, powerful and disturbing, strange and logical… The author, amid so many fantastic, tragic, and sometimes sublime inventions, intoxicates himself with a charming erudition with which he also intoxicates his readers.”
“The best Surrealist works strive to achieve the music of these stories. Fluid, brief, they read like distilled fairy tales, and they move with a languid speed, like the passage of time in a dream. All of the stories explore the boundaries between life and art in a half-mocking, half-magical way? Translated beautifully.” — Voice Literary Supplement