Charles Juliet and Maurice Merleau-Ponty on Cézanne, Stéphane Lambert on Paul Klee

“Cézanne”, by Charles Juliet, POL, “#formatpoche”, 80 p., €8.

“The Doubt of Cézanne and other texts”, by Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Folio, “Wisdoms”, 114 p., €3.50.

“Paul Klee to the depths of the future”, by Stéphane Lambert, Arléa, “Pocket”, 144 p., €10.

With a painterthe writer or the poet can make the miraculous discovery of a fury and an inspiration identical to their own: Claudel evoking, in The eye listens (1946), the baroque opulence of Dutch painters, a plastic echo of the work-world of satin slipper (1929); Artaud, witness to the “epileptoid trepidation of the verb”scribe of the “hieroglyphy of the breath”concelebrating with Van Gogh, in The suicide of society (1947), some mysterious cosmic crisis. But he can also enter an intimidating and fruitful experimental space that he observes in the distance, scrutinizes with the emotional attention of a pilgrim approaching the high place.

This is the feeling which emerges from the two texts that Charles Juliet devoted to Paul Cézanne (1839-1906). Mon, A seeker of the absolute, is new; the second, A great livingdates from 2006. The latter adopts the singular form of a letter written to “Monsieur Cézanne”. The writer, beyond time, uses a low-voiced fervor, that of a guardian angel, to evoke the “Cézanne who always doubted”to give detail “the thick paste of the inner magma”analyze emotions leading to “this state of amazement which took away your words, struck you with silence, and facing the canvas, left you for interminable moments, your gaze lost, your hand inert”. Or decipher this large pine from the Sao Paulo museum, with its “trunk not trivially vertical, but slightly curved, lost in a jumble of gnarled, twisted, tangled branches, branches which one feels have had to struggle against the fury of the mistral and the furnace of summers, branches that ‘you think you hear creaking’…

Read also this meeting of 2017: Article reserved for our subscribers Charles Juliet, soul at peace

sister approach of that of Charles Juliet, but bathed in the luminous transparency of a more analytical light, in the philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), who tries, also starting from the painful and savage experience of the act of painter by Cézanne, to decipher, with the gaze of the phenomenologist, the implicit perspectives. The painter, we read in the texts brought together in Cézanne’s Le Doute, “did not believe in having to choose between sensation and thought, as between chaos and order. He does not want to separate the fixed things that appear under our gaze and their fleeting way of appearing, he wants to paint matter in the process of giving itself shape…” What Merleau-Ponty studies at the heart of Cézanne’s canvases is not a technique applied to an environment, painting busy subduing nature, but the pangs of a consciousness at work in the flesh of the world, of an act of love and conflict: “The painter takes up and converts precisely into a visible object what without him remains locked up in the separate life of each consciousness: the vibration of appearances which is the cradle of things. »

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