Posts featuring Louis Aragon

“Damien, or, Intimations” by Louis Aragon Translated from the French by Damion Searls

“When I was young I brushed my teeth with a straight piece of bone, the bristles were thick and hard like a wheat field, until my mother would rub her finger over them and complain ‘Damien, that’s disgusting, you know you’re supposed to say when your brush is worn out!’ and throw the thing in the drawer of the painted sideboard. Later, in the years when I was still wearing long, striped bathing suits, we had slightly curved implements, the handles I mean. The bristles were in clusters separated by a little gap, like a flowerbed, and on the back there were little holes in the furrows and thin colored lines, like on the bathing suits… They lost their bristles very fast, and then my mother blamed me for getting rid of them too often. I don’t know why we didn’t throw away toothbrushes at our house. There was a drawer full of them, out of commission—a toothbrush graveyard. The sideboard Aunt Cécile had painted was a Campo Santo of objects: we put everything broken, or no longer used, in there… Then came the era of metal brushes. It was after I came back from the regiment. They were pitiful things. The others, the bone ones, turned yellow, but it didn’t help to call the steel in the new ones stainless, it aged very badly.” READ MORE…