The Voyage of Horace Pirouelle by Philippe Soupault, translation by Justin Vicari
Trade Paperback – Wakefield Press – Nov 2023 – 66 pages
Conceived in a hospital bed in 1917 and written a few months later after his fateful encounter with Lautréamont’s Maldoror, Philippe Soupault’s novella The Voyage of Horace Pirouelle preceded the author’s involvement with Parisian Dada and the Surrealist movement he would later launch with his friends. Inspired by a schoolmate’s sudden departure for Greenland on a whim and his subsequent disappearance, Soupault imagines his alter ego’s adventures as entries in a journal both personal and fictional. Adopted by an Inuit tribe, Pirouelle drifts from one encounter to another, from one casual murder to another, until his life of liberty and spontaneity leads him to stasis at the edge of existence.