Literature > Guillaume Apollinaire

M. Laruelle had been in the artillery during the last war, survived by him in spite of Guillaume Apollinaire's being for a time his commanding officer.UTV, 32.

Guillaume Apollinaire was the name assumed by Wilhelm Apollinaris Kostrowitzky, a French poet of Polish extraction born in Rome. Apollinaire fought for France and was seriously wounded by shrapnel in WWI, but died in the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.

While Apollinaire is known primarily for his poetry collection Alcools [Alcohol] – and to a lesser extent his cataloguing erotica and sexology in L'Enfer [Hell] – Laruelle has in mind Apollinaire's depiction of war as a grand adventure in poems such as 'L'adieu du Cavalier' [The Horseman's Farewell]:

Ah Dieu! que la guerre est jolie
Avec ses chants ses longs loisirs
Cette bague je l'ai polie
Le vent se mêle à vos soupirs

Adieu! voici le boute-selle
Il disparut dans un tournant
Et mourut là-bas tandis qu'elle
Riait au destin surprenant