Vortex Gaudier-Brzeska (Written from the Trenches) – Henri Gaudier-Brzeska



I HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR TWO MONTHS and I can now gauge the intensity of life.

HUMAN MASSES teem and move, are destroyed and crop up again.

HORSES are worn out in three weeks, die by the roadside.

DOGS wander, are destroyed, and others come along.

WITH ALL THE that works around us NOTHING IS CHANGED, EVEN SUPERFICIALLY. LIFE IS THE SAME STRENGTH . fHE MOVING AGENT THAT PERMITS THE SMALL INDIVIDUAL f0 ASSERT HIMSELF.

i THE BURSTING SHELLS, the volleys, wire entanglements, projectors, Rotors, the chaos of battle DO NOT ALTER IN THE LEAST the outlines 0 f the hill we are besieging. A company of PARTRIDGES scuttle along before our verv trench.

v IT WOULD BE FOLLY TO SEEK ARTISTIC EMOTIONS AMID fTHESE LITTLE WORKS OF OURS.

-THIS PALTRY MECHANISM, WHICH SERVES AS A PURGE TO 0VER-NUMEROUS HUMANITY. I THIS WAR IS A GREAT REMEDY.

e IN THE INDIVIDUAL IT KILLS ARROGANCE, SELF-ESTEEM, #RIDE.

^Just as this hill where the Germans are solidly entrenched, gives me a nasty ^feeling, solely because its gentle slopes are broken up by earth-works, which throw long shadows at sunset. Just so shall I get feeling, of whatsoever definition, from a statue ACCORDING TO ITS SLOPES, varied to infinity. – I have made an experiment. Two days ago I pinched from an enemy a mauser rifle. Its heavy unwieldy shape swamped me with a powerful IMAGE of brutality.

I was in doubt for a long time whether it pleased or displeased me.

I found that I did not like it.

I broke the butt off and with my knife I carved in it a design, through which ‘I tried to express a gentler order of feeling, which I preferred.

BUT I WILL EMPHASIZE that MY DESIGN got its effect (just as the gun had) FROM A VERY SIMPLE COMPOSITION OF LINES AND PLANES.

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