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Paris Peasant

Good people, harken to me, I get all my information straight from heaven.

The secrets of each of you, like those of language and love, are revealed to me each night, and there are nights in broad daylight. You pass close to me, your clothes fly away, your account books open at the page where the dissimulations and the frauds are to be found, the intimacies of your bedroom are revealed, and your heart! Your heart like a hawk-mouth in the sun, your heart like a ship on an atoll, your heart like a compass needle driven mad by a little piece of lead, like washing drying in the wind, like a whining of horses, like seed thrown to the birds, like an evening paper one has finished reading! Your heart is a charade that the whole world has guessed.

Fear nothing, then, either for myself or for your reputation, and let me enter the handkerchief shop.


Louis Aragon
About the Author

You can find info on Aragon as a Dadaist at the International Dada Archive.
The Franceweb has an article on the Surrealists in general (in French)
including an article on Aragon
and a handwritten manuscript sample.
The site Louis Aragon Online contains a wealth of information.
Selected quotes by Aragon are also available.


Aragon was a major French writer emerging out of Dada and Surrealism. His Paris Peasant predates Breton's Nadja as the first major novel of Surrealism. Along with the other surrealists, such as Breton, Eluard, Artaud, Ernst and Desnos, Aragon helped resurrect interest in Lautreamont's Les Chants de Maldoror. Aragon also wrote on Matisse over a 27-year period.

The Dada and Surrealists also had a keen interest in depth psychology, initially with Freud and later with Jung. Jacques Lacan was also a contributor to the Surrealists' journals.