Michel Leiris: Nights as Day, Days as Night

Those of you who are familiar with my book F.M.R.L. will be aware of the importance of Michel Leiris’ writing in that project; in particular, the way his texts were often generated by sounding clues, and misreadings contributed to meaning—all of which enabled my material/sensuous/sounding reading of L’Afrique Fantôme in Chapter 12.

I’ve now reviewed Leiris’ Nights as Day, Days as Night (Spurl Editions, tr. Richard Sieburth) for Minor Literature[s]:

Michel Leiris had been dreaming at least since 1923, if we believe the first date noted in his collection of dream journals Nuits sans nuit et quelques jours sans jour. Before 1923 however, the collection opens with an undated text labelled as ‘Very Old Dream’, shifting back the beginning of Leiris’ dreamwriting to a much less clear origin, suggesting hazier chronological and perceptual limits for his project. Where do dreams begin, and when? Do they begin at the edge of writing, or is the writing of dreams a translucent surface that allows them to be perceived in spite of words and through and beyond them?

[continue reading]


2 Comments to “Michel Leiris: Nights as Day, Days as Night”

  1. Your review is so wonderful Daniela. I am new to Leiris, so this book will be my first experience with his work. Thank you for opening a door into the experience.

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