Signes gravés sur les églises de l'Eure et du Calvados

Signs Engraved on the Churches of Eure and Calvados
Authors Asger Jorn & Gérard Franceschi
Publisher Borgen
Publishing date 1964
Series Library of Alexandria, Vol. 2

Signes gravés sur les églises de l'Eure et du Calvados (Signs Engraved on the Churches of Eure and Calvados) is a book written in French and directed by Asger Jorn, with essay contributions from various antiquities experts and photography by Gérard Franceschi. The book was published by Danish publisher Borgen in 1964 and distributed in France by Librairie 'Le Minotaur.'

The book is a photographic examination of secular, pagan, and religious "graffiti" found hand-etched into church architecture in the Calvados and Eure départements of the Normandy region in northern France. Jorn was inspired to document the symbols he found after a visit to the church of Damville in 1946 while visiting the painter Pierre Wemaëre. Jorn further draws comparisons to similar symbols found in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway at the cathedrals of Ribe, Lund, and Trondheim. Franceschi's photography is coupled with essays from Danish archaeologist Peter Vilhelm Glob, University of Caen Professor Michel de Bouard, historian Louis Réau, and Asger Jorn.

The book is part of the series The Library of Alexandria. Volume 1 consisted of a series of Situationist pamphlets, Volume 2 was Jorn's book Signes gravés sur les églises de l'Eure et du Calvados, and Volume 3 was Jorn's and Pierre Wemaëre's booklet Le long voyage, and Le langue verte et la cuite.


An example of signs. The lower photo is from the church in Tournedos, Eure. The upper photo is unidentified.

Karen Kurcynski explains Jorn's comparison of the symbols found in Eure and Calvados to the Scandinavian "Vandal" culture:

The book related to Jorn’s Scandinavian Institute for Comparative Vandalism, founded 1961, which attempted to demonstrate by photographing repeated motifs in ancient and Medieval art throughout Europe, that the visual culture of the nomadic Scandinavian "vandals," usually perceived as mere barbarians, did not derive from southern Europe but in many cases actually inspired European visual forms. Jorn’s conception of "vandalism" retains the double signification of both a historic ethnic group and the general value of destructive tendencies in culture. Jorn writes in Signs Engraved that rather than simple destruction, graffiti asserts a common human "need," that of expression as a fundamental human activity. He further argues that, because the Medieval church held valuable objects (such as reliquaries) outside of social circulation, anonymous graffiti on the church walls expressed a popular protest against the isolation of artistic objects from everday life. He thus characterizes graffiti as an art form that defies the institutionalization of art and its removal from common society.

- Karen Kurcynski, Expression as vandalism: Asger Jorn's "Modifications"

Signs from the church in Tilleul-Dame-Agnès, Eure.

Steven Harris links Jorn's fascination with engravings found on churches to Scandinavian expansion into Normandy:

[Signes gravés sur les églises de l'Eure et du Calvados] focused on graffiti carved into the stone interiors of Norman churches between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries, which it presented as an unofficial culture contributed over the centuries by worshippers, as they attended Mass or visited the churches for other purposes. Jorn was drawn to this graffiti for several reasons. On one level, he saw a resemblance between the kinds of marks made in these Norman churches over several centuries and the graffiti found in Scandinavian churches, which implies the persistence of cultural ties between Normandy, settled by Scandinavian peoples, and the cultural heritage of his homeland. (While Jorn was not a nationalist, he saw a specificity to Scandinavian culture that he wished to make available to others.) On another level, he was drawn to this graffiti as a popular expression that is also a commentary on, and a supplement to, the official culture of the Catholic Church.

- Steven Harris, How Language Looks: On Asger Jorn and Noël Arnaud's La langue verte


During a visit I made to the church of Damville, in Normandy, in 1946, and during my stay with the painter Pierre Wemaëre, in Pinson, my attention was drawn to the scrapings and graffiti whose porch of this church was abundantly covered.

Later noticing similar scrapings in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, on the cathedrals of Ribe, Lund and Trondhejm, I decided to study this phenomenon more closely.

The resources necessary for this enterprise were given to me in the spring of ‘61. I then left for the Norman adventure accompanied by the photographer Gérard Franceschi.

We found in the départements of Eure and Calvados a large number of graffiti. In other areas we found nothing. Wherever the churches have been restored, traces of graffiti have disappeared. Sometimes, as in example No. 178, a part is revealed when a piece of superimposed stucco has fallen.

Many inscriptions, both in Latin and in French, are of great historical interest; we have however ignored them.

We did not find any image of coupling, nor of hearts pierced by an arrow. The reproductions faithfully present all the subjects found. There is thus no possibility of a choice of subjects adapted to a predetermined interpretation. The only graffito that was traced was footprint No. 73.

At the beginning, the searches were carried out a little by chance, which explains the lack of indication of origin of some. But all the churches visited are in the register and more precision would require a second course for which I do not have the time.

At no point did I assume that we could really make a very rich gathering of images. And no more than the signs would be admirably preserved. However, this was the case.

As books and studies on similar themes seemed to me to be very poor, I was tempted to combine the magnificent photos of Franceschi and the texts of some of the best specialists in this field.

I hasten to say that the latter, who expressed an interest in my project for which I thank them warmly, confounded, by the kindness and warmth of their welcome, the amateur that I am.

-Asger Jorn

A whole universe of images of a particular character has quietly crossed time, on the walls of the churches of Normandy. And yet it was subject to perpetual development and enrichment. It was evoked by an artist with an alert gaze, who now communicates it to us. These strange signs and images, executed and known only by the local population, are thus in these pages exposed to the attention of a wider public, in other countries.

An abundance of signs and symbols is spread out on these stone surfaces, and precisely because these drawings are not the work of a single hand from a specific period, but represent the activity of a multitude, from ancient times to the present day, each surface blends into a very lively unity, in which nature also participates through its play of colours with the grey-brown-yellow of the lichen flowers.

It is impossible to date the first images. Even if we can date, with relative precision, the many churches, castles and farms, where the picture stones can be found, the fact remains that for some of them, the place they currently occupy may only be their second use, their origin being in places of worship several millennia old. Such practices are well known. This mainly concerns stones with cup-shaped hollows, as they are arranged on the first pages: freely sowed, or in straight lines, circles, rectangles and other geometric shapes that may represent men as well as animals. This symbol is known all over the world, in its highest antiquity. It can be followed up to five thousand years in the past, in the same material and character that we find here. These holes dug in the rock are still today the object of cultural practices at the foot of the Himalayas, where women bring their offering of yellow flower chalices to ensure, by means of this symbol of the female sex, fertility and happiness.

The cupuliform hollows seem to follow the ancient cultural communication route that continues from the Middle East, across the Mediterranean and along the coasts of western Europe, to the Nordic countries attached to a particular fertility cult. This cult had succeeded in subjugating this immense domain from the third millennium B.C. until the end of the first millennium of the present era.

In the west of France, this sign is attached, among others, to the magnificent stone tombs of the Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany, which are from the second millennium. It is also found on the stone of menhirs forming huge processional paths, such as the alignments of Kermario. Several of the stones reproduced here could be taken from similar places; in the same way that in Denmark we often find old stones - with cupuliform hollows - reused in the construction of thresholds, or as bases (see No. 6).

We do not know until what time this sign retained its magical power, but it is also found, reproduced in large numbers, on the stones of the steps of the famous temple of Athena, on the Acropolis of Athens, traced long after the temple was completed. Nowadays, it can be seen being used for games, all around the Persian Gulf, and also in other places. This does not prevent it from having other, more ancient meanings for the people of these regions; but it does imply a problem of the ritual role that the ancient games may have played in divination.

The cup-shaped hollows are, in the whole of the Mediterranean area, Western European and Northern European, related to the old cult of Mother Earth. A long series of signs: circles around holes, a wheel with a cross, hollows and extended circles of rays, etc., were used for divination. (numbers from 16 to 30), however, is centred on the forces of heaven, a cult that penetrated with peoples on horseback who invaded northern and central Europe about 4,000 years ago. From that time, and in the following few millennia, these two religions, that of heaven and that of earth, meet and refract themselves in the art of images, and give it its content. We find this art on the megalithic monuments, both in the Gulf of Morbihan and in Eastern Ireland, where we can find all the hollows, circles and other signs that are in this book. Even though the circular sign, in its many variants, appears to be related to the power of the sun, it is no less likely that it should be considered, in some cases, as the eye that watches over the mother goddess.

The same connection with a fertility cult that has continued to this day is also reflected in many other images in this book. This is the case with many footprints, single or double, which are often combined, in western and northern Europe, with cross-sectional hollows. This sign, together with that of the sun, can be traced through the entire Iron Age, up to the Christian period (numbers 68 and 74). The many sacred footprints on the rocks and stones of India are attributed to Buddha or Vishnu, but in many places there are old traditions that attribute to the footprints of the human foot a beneficial, fertilizing, productive power. It is the same case with the shoe, known as such in Greek culture, among others. This tradition survives until our times, in the habit of attaching a shoe to the bride and groom’s car. We can see shoe prints with the heel (number 73) and the shoe itself (number 75). The type of this shoe belongs to the XVI-XV centuries, which indicates the date of its execution. In general, the foot as a symbol of power as well as the hand (numbers 78 to 82), protects against evil forces and acquires, through magical rites, divine power that spreads to the place where it was drawn.

The horse, this marvellous animal, belongs to the powers of heaven. It arrived from the steppes of Asia at the end of the third millennium B.C., as a draught animal, as a mount, and as a dairy animal. Its image is powerful, and causes fertility (numbers 107 to 112). He pulls the sun behind him through the sky, he is bound to fire. Thus was attached to the god of fertility, in Nordic paganism, a trait that manifests itself to us with the horse-shaped corvette, in the vicinity of Lille. Both the image of the deer (numbers 95 to 102) and that of the bird (numbers 61 to 66) fall into the same category.

There are a series of all-sail boats out there, some of which could be made by our grandparents (numbers 40 to 48), and some older ones. All of them recall the nave of the church and the carnival boat. The boat itself belonged, three thousand years ago, to the god of fertility in the Middle East, in Greece (the boat of Dionysos), and in the North where fertility rites were inseparable from popular parades with boats. This transport of ships is still known today, especially in carnival parades, even if its original purpose has been forgotten. In Normandy, however, it seems that memories of antiquity have been kept in the back of people’s minds.

Several subjects confirm the coexistence of these images with the official Christian culture. The superb cathedrals and modest places of prayer (numbers 158, 62), the church bells (number 176), the tombstone (number 137), the keys of St. Peter’s (number 83) and the ladder of heaven (number 116). In Viking times, a thousand years ago, the key was the sign worn around the neck, in silver or bronze, as a sign of attachment to the Christian belief; others, however, wore the sign of the hammer to show their fidelity to the ancient powers of heaven (it is difficult to know whether the numbers 194-196 should be interpreted in this way). Even though Christianity apparently reigned on the surface of the country, it appears that much older beliefs dominate the world of images shown here. This is not a unique case, and all those who visit the charming Frascati, in Monti Albani, south of Rome, can still today bite into the figurines of the three-breasted women that are sold in the small bakers’ shops, a present testimony of the ancient goddess of fertility: Astarte, Aphrodite or Ava, or some other name that was given to the Magna Mater, the mother of origins.

The images in this book are chosen from thousands of signs engraved or drawn on the walls of churches in Normandy. Among them are representations of churches and bell towers, but above all an abundance of crosses, generally placed on bases of different shapes. We even find the cock representing valour (numbers 64 and 67) or hearts, sometimes intertwined hearts. The fleur-de-lys can be found in a few places, or more gloomy motifs, such as the gallows where the evildoer hangs. In addition to this, a large number of subjects, apparently of no particular interest, belong to everyday life: horses, often with a rider, deer, birds, snakes, footprints, handprints, and an incredible number of small round holes in the shape of a cup. These subjects are not, by far, as insignificant as they seem. They are even more interesting than the rest.

Some of these figures are dated. One deer is dated 1753. A little higher up on the same wall is the figure of 1780 - and something, the last figure being erased (number 99). In another place, there is the number 164; maybe 1640. 1602 (?), 1620, 1740, 180 (?), but these dates do not correspond directly with the drawings. A rather precise indication can be found in the different styles, and especially in the different types of boats. This proves that the origins of these drawings are very diverse, from the Middle Ages to the end of the last century. The ship of number 59 seems to be engraved around 1110, whereas three-masted ships, frigate-rigged boats, schooners, bricks with all their canvas, sometimes sloops and even a coaster with a fork rigging can hardly predate the period around 1800. A ship with a wheel (the appearance of steam) confirms this. And the animal that turns its head to bite its tail belongs to the classic subjects of Romanesque art (number 114).

The superimposition of several layers of figuration also shows, through the chronological record of the making of the images which thus becomes possible, that long periods have passed over this undertaking. Even with photographs of remarkable quality, as they are presented here, it would be futile to attempt an analysis of the individual chronological layers on the basis of the photographic reproduction of the whole. On the other hand, it is highly unlikely that the establishment of such a survey could teach us anything whose importance could be weighed against the immense amount of work, and the long duration, that would be involved in researching the monuments themselves.

This is not a professional art of any kind. It is the simple man, more or less pious, who spends his time there waiting for the beginning of Mass; or more likely, after having brought his offerings, to the Saviour, the Blessed Virgin and the other saints. The images are hardly ever realized as works of art, in the sense that we currently give to this term, except in a few rare attempts where one feels a conscious aesthetic desire. This is most clearly evident in the rosette (number 173), where the tension between the square and the curves of the eight-leaf rose, together with the decided technique, shows that this is a “popular” artist with skill and nerve. Other figurations show the feeling of form and the safety of the hand, and achieve striking results. This is the case of several boats, such as the sloop number 46, the coaster (yacht?) number 48, or the brig number 58. Often the circles were executed with compasses of various kinds. This is especially visible with those with six-leaf rosettes.

However, it can be seen, as a dominant rule, that the essential concern is the image, the symbol, or rather the metaphor itself. Thus it is part of what is called folk art, in its most authentic form. The most ordinary people have felt the need to express themselves in images, to translate into them things that are elementary and central to the life of their interests and feelings; and with this, to bring to light associative images, which have arisen by apparent chance from the closed depths of their unconscious, and it is precisely this last part that offers so much interest.

Because the unconscious does not create associations in a vacuum. They are realized on the basis of supposedly “forgotten” experiences, and what constitutes traditions are precisely such erased experiences. In order to really be able to value the meaning of these images, we are obliged to make a preliminary clarification of what constitutes tradition in its ultimate foundation; and then to specify some data from the ancient history of Normandy, in order to be able to situate the traditions presented here.

Tradition encompasses everything that happens from generation to generation as beliefs, habits, ideas and images. It is not subjective in the sense of individuality, of belonging to particular men. On the contrary, it is an all-encompassing accumulation of experiences lived in society as a whole, thus representing a subjectivity common to all. This does not only characterize the small local society, but also larger ethnic units, the people or the nation. It even plays a role in what can be called the great cohesion of social culture: what is usually called “our Western civilization”, and what is characterized by the American Robert Redfiel as “the great tradition”.

Tradition accumulates elements from everywhere, and covers countless generations. But tradition is far from being static; it is constantly engaged in a process of transformation. New experiences are constantly being added, while others disappear.

Conscious intelligence is always individual and analytical, because attention to things is necessarily self-centred. Consciousness is like a lighthouse, which can send its ray of light everywhere, and thus cover the entire horizon, but only in small areas, successively. Tradition, on the contrary, is synthetic, encompasses everything, and thus takes on an apparently objective character, because all the contributions of the “forgotten” experience are melted into a great plastic unity, whose coherence is perfect in time as well as in space.

The whole process of traditionalization that has been going on since the beginning continues today, and continues into the future. What is forgotten does not disappear. It only sinks down to the subconscious and unconscious levels; and the events of yesterday are already on their way to the traditional mass. This process has been going on for a million years or even more, since tradition seems to be also a partially constitutive factor in animal behaviour.

True tradition is unconscious, because we live in it and are constantly being shaped by it. Once made conscious, it completely changes its aspect, it transforms itself into traditionalism, a phenomenon which plays a considerable, and largely dangerous, role in the dynamic modern world, which gives so little free play to true traditions, nor at the same time to the imagination. Combined with the expansive dynamism of our times, modern traditionalism develops a desire for national power that is alien to genuine traditions.

What is most difficult to define are the traditional elements which have come from, or have been bound together by, such broad cohesiveness, because in their case all the detailed elements of this great ensemble are so closely interrelated that they change character as they go along; thus they become very difficult to locate in the interplay of the whole. Local traditions, on the other hand, are often quite easy to show. As examples of such purely local traditions, we will mention a few cases whose incredible antiquity has been established by archaeologists. These examples are limited to the Scandinavian area only, but one could surely find similar examples in many other countries.

Archaeologist Karl Rygh reported, in his day, this: “In 1876 it was explained to me, in the Strinda country near Trondheim, that there was a legend that a knight in armour and his horse were under a large rock. He would have been surprised by a rock fall as he passed through the valley, and crushed. I took the trouble to dig under the rock as far as I could, and I did find the bones of a horse and a man, plus a lighter steel and two spearheads obviously from Viking times…. The presence of a grave was excluded. It must be admitted that the poor horseman, after his hasty burial, had been equipped with a harness and a knightly dignity that were also imaginary. The accuracy of the tradition is no less striking, considering that it was communicated over a period of a thousand years, and attached to a specific block of rock, among many others.

Even longer is the duration of the tradition concerning a large “Ottarshögen” mound in the commune of Vendel in Uppsala, Sweden. The mound is forty meters in diameter, and was mentioned as “Uttershögen” in 1670. In the years 1914-16, the mound was excavated by a specialist, Professor Sune Lindquist, one of Sweden’s most outstanding archaeologists. In the middle of the mound he discovered a tomb in which a wooden cup with gilded bronze fittings, calcified bones, game pieces and pieces of a bone comb had been placed. The find is fairly well fixed in the chronology by a gold coin of the Eastern Roman Empire’s coinage minted under Emperor Basiliscus (476-77). Since the coin was used as a pendant, and was quite worn, this leads us to propose a date for the construction of the tomb placed in the first decades of the 6th century. This period corresponds precisely to the time when the king of the Ynglinge family, Ottar Vendelkraka, died, following the genealogical line given by the “Ynglingatal”. Professor Lindqvist thus has good reason to argue that Utter’s mound in Vendel was the tomb of Ottar Vendelkraka. In a paler form, we see here the tradition being kept alive for 1,400 years.

To the north of Oslo lies the largest burial mound in Northern Europe; Raknehaugen in Ullensaker. It measures ninety-five meters in diameter and fifteen meters high. The tradition that a king was buried there is not, however, clearly proven by the excavations. The Norwegian archaeologist Anders Lorange had learned as a young student that a king was buried there between his two horses and then covered with several layers of carpentry. With youthful enthusiasm, he set about digging down into a shaft supported by wooden frames, and had reached a depth of sixteen feet when its entire construction collapsed. This happened, fortunately for him, at dinnertime. After this perilous adventure he began an attack from the side and was very happy when, on the east side, he found the skeleton of a horse sixty feet from the edge. However, there is nothing to prevent the hypothesis being correct that the skeleton came from a dead horse: since dead horses are not eaten, they were able to get rid of it by burying it in the mound. However, Dr. Sigurd Grieg, who systematically searched the mound during the years 1939-40, did not find a single grave. There was, however, one remarkable fact. There were three layers of roofing on top of each other inside, and calculations would suggest that they must have been made up of about thirty thousand pieces of wood. Radiological analysis suggests that the mound must have been made around the same time as that of Ottar, or perhaps some time after. But the tradition of the carpentry was in any case confirmed by reality.

In Denmark there are even older, and apparently true, traditions. In the old days, the people of Bolling County used to say that a chariot full of gold was buried in the marshland of the rectory in Dejbjerg. It sounded incredible. But when people started digging in the swamp in 1881 and 1883 they found not one but two tanks. Even though they weren’t loaded with gold their value is priceless. These are cult floats from the pre-Roman period. Ceremonial floats made of oak and ash, trimmed with bronze in the Celtic style. The carriages were deliberately destroyed and placed in the marsh as an offering. In this case we are dealing with a two thousand year old tradition.

A Norwegian souvenir finally, which is worth mentioning because it reveals a purely local tradition that takes us back in time to five or six thousand years ago. In Bomlo, south of Bergen, there is a small island: Hespriholmen. There is a curious large quarry dating from the period between the Mesolithic and Neolithic, from which stones of a very fine quality, dense and green in colour were extracted. Axes from this quarry are widespread in large areas of western Norway. As the axes are, in folk traditions, called ‘thunderbolts’, it seems that the name of the island must be related to the Viking period, and deciphered as ‘the place where the thunderbolts are sought’.

Thus we see that the traditional element can be kept alive, attached to a specific place, for thousands of years. No one should be surprised that these elements are embellished by the imagination, because it is precisely in the large, shapeless mass of traditions that the imagination seeks its raw materials, and the data it collects there can be combined in the most diverse ways. In the examples mentioned here, we are dealing only with traditions based on localized social units, without support in the general traditional cohesion. It is obvious that the latter is much more stable, much more resistant to attack, precisely because they are groupings covering larger areas.

A characteristic and important example of this kind is the powerful situation of the bear in the popular beliefs and medicine of the North. The bear has “the strength of ten men and the intelligence of twelve men.” That is its fame. Until the middle of the last century, a bear’s paw was used in folk medicine to facilitate childbirth, and even in this century it has been possible to obtain written evidence of the bear’s affinity for the pregnant woman and her abilities as a midwife.

The archaeological data also show us the dominant position that the bear occupied in the North, as a supernatural force and fertilizing power, from at least the Mesolithic period. Its importance in this field from the Palaeolithic period on the European continent has been confirmed by the evidence from the cave of Montespan, in the Haute-Garonne, where a bear carved in clay, but without a head, was found with a bear skull placed in front of it between its paws. The clay body also bore numerous marks of arrows and spears, or similar weapons. Here we can probably carry on a tradition as far back as twenty thousand years.

But in such a case, it is also a traditional consistency of enormous extent. From the Scandinavian peninsula, where the tradition has continued its intense and strong cultural life at least until the last two or three centuries, a bear cult in similar forms can be followed through the entire belt of Russian and Asian forests, through the Bering Strait to North America. There one can note its extension southward to Southern California, New Mexico and Arizona. While the Scandinavian bear had a preference for pregnant women, we learn from the Indians of the northwest that there are many experiences concerning the tendency of women to be seduced by a bear, and thus to give birth to one of their children.

Another stream of great traditional cohesion in the North is the subject of Indo-European influence at the end of the Neolithic period: the bear was replaced by the horse as the supreme power of fertilization for the upper class of Indo-Europeans. This position was held by the horse until the encounter with Christianity around the year 1000. The violent effort by which the new church erected a taboo against the habit of eating horse meat was therefore well justified, even if it was not a resounding success. Even today there are still many horseshoes above church entrances all over the North. This victory of the cult of the horse as a fertility power par excellence, among Indo-European masters, did not prevent the bear from continuing to survive comfortably in the non-Indo-Europeanized strata of the population, or even to impose itself even in the Indo-European tradition. Bear teeth were in common use in northern Norway at least until the 14th century.

It is also worth mentioning that this tradition - apart from the Paleolithic memories of the bear cult at Montespan - does not in any way link the North with the continent on the Western or Central European side, but rather links it to Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. There were many Asian influences in the Western European Paleolithic.

The bear tradition is thus placed in a position which differentiates it from the vital, and more present, traditions of modern European-American civilization, which are the classical traditions and those which manifest the influence of West Asia: the religious and ethical traditions of Christianity, which for their part were largely formed by Persian traditions. In art and thought, in addition to the Greco-Roman traditions, those of the Arabs and those of India are thus infiltrated, a mixture which still appears today. A rather curious trace can be followed in this line, among others in the field of currency terminology. Of the Roman gold coin, solidus aureus, solidus survives in the Italian soldo and the French sou, while aureus was left to the Scandinavians who kept it in the form of an öre. The sign of the English pound corresponds to the Roman libra, and that of the dollar is again that of solidus. Moreover the ancient Scandinavian silver coin ört was the Roman denarius argentus in the time of the republic. In the Middle Ages an intermediate variant, the ertog or örtug, was formed.

Even if archaeologists and historians are, for the most part, aware of this strange tenacity of the life of traditions, one has the impression that almost all of them look upon it as a curiosity without scope rather than as a fundamental reality for the most important part of cultural formation. The time seems to have come when we must begin to give this phenomenon its true value.

Traditional coherence can legitimately be seen as a global unit without precise boundaries, with elements of widely varying length and importance. There are elements that seem to be quickly disappearing, hardly ever mentioned. At the very moment of the event itself, it is already moving towards unconscious unity. So that tradition is more or less identified with what Emile Durkheim called, in his time, collective consciousness, in a profoundly revised sense of course. What Durkheim did not know was the unconscious and subconscious power of tradition. For him, social consciousness was rather a kind of social soul of individual character. It is what thinks, feels and wants, even if will, feeling and thinking only act through single consciousnesses, he wrote in “Sociology and Philosophy” (1925). At the same time, we can see in the concept of tradition a greatly modified reformulation of Adolf Bastian’s old Völkergedanke, or popular thought, while his Elementargedanken, or elementary thoughts would be found, in a modern formula, closer to the archetypes of Jung. For Bastian, the elementary thoughts were universal ideas common to all mankind, ideas which would have the same character in all times and among all peoples, whereas for him the “popular thoughts” were particular forms, which the system of elementary thoughts must have had, under the diverse influences of the natural environment. Popular thought” would thus represent a layer of creative and formative forces beneath the different forms of culture. Probably no one would accept Bastian’s ideas today, because they are too naive and simplistic. It should be noted that Durkheim’s criticism was precisely an argument against the attitudes supported by Bastian and Wilhelm Wundt with his Völkerpsychology.

Leaving aside for a moment questions of tradition, we will indicate some features of the ancient history of Normandy. It is quite well known that the name Normandy is due to the Danish and Norwegian Vikings who plundered this region around the year 800, and then settled in the country. In 911, their chief Rollo (Gange Rolv) received the country in fief of Charles the Simple, and the Norman state was established. There have been quarrels between Danish and Norwegian historians about the mutual importance of the two peoples in this endeavour; and above all, of course, about the probable origin of Rollo. This dispute is apparently as futile as the one over the Pope’s beard. All that has been proved is the participation of two peoples; and the fact, indicated by documents, that the Vikings of Vestfold, southwest of Oslo, attacked France (the Westfaldingi) on several occasions.

We are more informed about the development of this new Norman state. We know the profound influence that this new sovereignty has had on the social and cultural structure of the country and, moreover, on the political and cultural development of the whole of Western Europe. The least important was not the seizure of England by William the Conqueror in 1066, nor the Viking possessions in southern Italy and Sicily, and their participation in the Crusades. Their Norman strongholds were conquered by Philip Augustus in 1204 and submitted to the French Crown in 1364. This did not prevent Normandy from enjoying an autonomy throughout the Middle Ages that gave its local culture a strong particularity; this was manifested, among other things, by the unparalleled efficiency of its administration.

Of all these facts, the Nordic memory has above all retained the particular forms that Romanesque architecture received from the “Norman style,” which was to dominate England, and which profoundly spread its influence in the Scandinavian countries.

This new springboard does not detract from the fact that tradition in Normandy has retained many elements of its Nordic origins, both in language and customs. Place names such as Turville are still reminiscent of the god Tur or Tor in whom, according to ancient documents from Normandy, the Vikings had faith.

A legend, which finds its poetic form in an ancient French poem, tells that Arletta, the mother of William the Conqueror, when she gave birth to him, dreamed: “A tree grew out of my body. It was rising towards the sky. It cast its shadow over the whole of Normandy”. This is a copy of the legend of “Queen Ragnhild’s Tree”, the tree that appeared in the dream of the wife of a small local Norwegian king, Halvdan Svarte, when her son Harald Haarfager, who was to reunite Norway under her rule, was born. She dreamt that she was in his garden, and that she was removing a thorn from her dress. The moment she held it in her hand, the thorn began to grow, to become a big tree. The tree touched the ground, took root there and grew very high in the sky. At the bottom the tree was red as blood, the higher the trunk was bright green, and the branches were white as snow. It had many strong branches, some high and some low. The branches of the tree extended so far that they covered the whole of Norway.

The heroic poems of the Edda songs found a renaissance in Normandy, and contributed to the compositions of the heroic poetry of the French Middle Ages, but by abandoning the Nordic language, which was soon replaced by French. Already Rollo’s son Wilhelm Langsvärd was obliged to send his sons to Bayeux to study the Nordic language, which had begun to degenerate in Rouen. Much more important for the tradition were the survivals of paganism, which, independently of official Christianity, remained an underground and illegal cult. It greatly disturbed and frightened the pious ecclesiastical souls.

The mention of these few survivors of the Nordic influence in Normandy is made for no other purpose than to show how traditions can retain ideas, or at least their symbolic forms, through incalculable epochs; and to sketch a little of the character of the traces with which the Normans were able to mark the new country where they settled. The historian of Normandy André Manguy, when he was finishing his book “Au temps des Vikings… les navires et la Marine Nordique d’après les vieux textes”, published in 1944 during the German occupation, was touching on the heart of the matter with these sentences which seemed in truth to appeal to his “Scandinavian brothers:” “to teach a world reborn all that our ancestors understood by the word aere, which has a meaning close to that of honour - the true basis of social and moral life in the ancient Nordic people”.

Probably the time has come to return to all these signs, so discreet, almost insignificant, engraved or carved on the walls of Norman churches. But, seen in the light of tradition, we must first recognize the synthetic, almost amorphous character of this slowly moving unity of coherence, in order to be able to situate the signs on this basic unity in our attempt to valorize it.

The first impression that struck me when I saw these images was this: “Tudieu! Here is the whole gallery of subjects of the Scandinavian Bronze Age rock engravings.” It is obviously tempting to try to establish the possibility of such a traditional coherence. The very idea may seem to most people to be more of a dilettantism than a baroque one, since the normal method is to analyse each subject in isolation, and in this way it is naturally easy to explain that “circles were made always and everywhere”, or ships, or figures, or hearts, or…, etc., etc. One is of course right in the sense that such a hypothesis can in no way be proven by following the classical demonstration of probability methods. Nevertheless, we have amply demonstrated how tradition is capable of an incredibly tenacious vitality, and another fundamental condition must be kept in mind: when a tradition is transplanted into a new environment, it is often marked by a tendency to sclerotize, to harden and to close in on itself in an immutable form. We have an example of this in the surprising conservatism of the Nordic language in Iceland and the Færø Islands. There we feel the rupture of contact with the place of origin. Norwegian writing has never been so perfectly Danish as after the dissolution of the union in 1814. It was only after 1907 that it slowly began to regain its original character.

It is indisputable that leafing through these pictures one finds almost the entire repertoire of subjects from the Bronze Age rock engravings, obviously in a somewhat attenuated form. What characterizes above all the Scandinavian rock engravings are subjects such as the boat, sun signs, cup-shaped hollows interpreted as offering cups, horses, ploughing scenes, deer, snakes, men in various attitudes and situations and horsemen, foot and hand prints. All these people are present on the walls of the churches of Normandy. Various subjects are obviously missing from the rock engravings, notably the fir tree - the eternally green tree - as a symbol of fertility, the importance of which is of course secondary in a country with deciduous forests (if one cannot interpret numbers 62, 127, 128, 131 and 178 as firs). Also missing is the chariot, so common in rock engravings. What is most striking in these Norman-Scandinavian relationships is the resemblance that can be found in the very forms of each sign. This is what we will study in our comments to the particular images.

There is no longer any doubt that the Nordic Bronze Age rock engravings represent a cult of fertility linked to agriculture. The sun takes a dominant place here. The sun that crosses the sky at night in its boat, but in the daytime rides the solar horse, as is best expressed by Trundholm’s famous solar chariot from the early Danish Bronze Age.

The tradition of the solar boat was obviously maintained in the North until an incredibly late period. In my own youth, before and during the First World War, it was strangely important for us, in the village in western Norway where I spent my early years, to find an old boat and place it at the top of the Midsummer bonfire. I think there is no objection to the idea of considering the fire on the night of the summer solstice as a festival whose origin lies in the cult of the sun. None of us knew why, nor did any of us start thinking about why it was necessary to have this boat. It just had to be there, that’s all. There were some years when it was a hard ordeal before we could beg enough to get an old rowing boat for our ceremony. Later I learned that the same game was being played in other parts of the country.

In this regard, there is a study to be done on the question of the presence of boats in churches. The old hypothesis, which is still valid, that they represent ex-votos of sailors who have survived shipwrecks, is not sufficient.

It should be noted that ritual summer solstice bonfires are an ancient and general tradition in the North. The one on the island of Runöe in ancient Estonia is said to date back to ancient Swedish influences. Such traditions are unknown to me in Normandy, I must confess. James G. Frazer, however, mentions in his famous book “The Golden Bough” a strange custom of Saint-Lô, where a burnt human effigy is thrown into the river, where it floats away while being devoured by the fire. This tradition has been interpreted (by Oscar Almgren) as a mixture of the custom of burning the god of fertility at the stake of the year, and his disappearance on the sea in a boat.

Thanks to its important role in the sun’s march through the sky, the horse too sometimes takes its place between the sun signs, but the horse remains above all the image of the procreative force. This is a phenomenon common to all Indo-Europeans, well known in ancient Hindu rites where this symbolism is extraordinarily obvious. The Rigveda means the sun as a disc or wheel pulled across the sky by the horse Etaca (the ballast) directly harnessed to the disc. The horseshoe on two of the pictures in this book (numbers 76 and 77) thus has the function of signifying the horse.

The relationship between the horse and the boat is obvious. It is not by chance that in the old Edda, in Nordic poetry, the boat is continually referred to as a horse: “horse of the sea”, “horse of the waves”, etc. The horse is also referred to as the “horse of the waves”. It is an idea that has its origins at least in the Bronze Age. A rock engraving in Ostfold, Norway, shows a boat on which several sun signs are superimposed. The bow is undoubtedly shaped like a horse’s head, with a long floating mane, while the rear of the boat is a ponytail.

The deer also appears as a sun sign. The solarhjortr of the Eddas. The sign of the celestial god Ty. In a rock engraving from Bohuslen, Sweden, two deer are connected by a band, or something similar, and one has a sun wheel on its horns. And even this image is among those that have a very large extent.

The sun sign itself is often a wheel with four spokes. Concentric circles are also common (cf. Numbers 24 and 27). Sometimes two concentric circles are encountered, with spokes close together (cf. number 91). Sometimes the circle itself is composed of a tight gathering of cupuliform hollows (number 92). Sometimes a figure is depicted with a sun wheel as a head (number 92). Here we are in the presence of the anthropomorphised solar god himself in the arena of rock engravings. One or more sun wheels are often seen passing directly over a boat (cf. number 39), or being pulled by the sun horse.

In Norway at least, it is striking that rock engravings are so often found in places called Solberg, the solar mountain. There is every reason to believe that such names are so ancient that they were attached to the sacred mountains where the sun was worshipped. Engravings are also found in places called Helgaberg and Helgastein, the sacred mountain and stone.

The links between the sun worship and the fertility of the land are easy to detect, considering that the engravings are carefully placed on rocks surrounded by arable land, or on cliffs facing pieces of land with this character. It is therefore natural that ploughing scenes are often found among the engravings. Whether these are religious agrarian rites, this is clearly revealed in an engraving by Bohuslen, in which the farmer holds a small fir tree in his hand during his work. Its eternal greenery was a sign of the fertility of the land in large parts of Europe. We often find the fir tree as an independent image on rock engravings. It even seems to have survived its encounter with Christianity in Germany, where it was known throughout the Middle Ages, and from where it later found a renaissance that spread to Europe as well as North America as a Christmas tree. Even this ploughman, we find him here (number 94). He works with a wheeled plough, long used throughout Europe. It was brought to England by the Angles and the Saxons.

Footprints are an extremely common subject in rock engravings. Hands are also found there, but more rarely. Here we are faced with an almost universal representation, because footprints of humans and animals can be found almost everywhere on earth, and handprints are at least as common. In Europe this representation dates back to the oldest Paleolithic art. Without commenting on the discussions on the interpretations that have been put forward for these signs, which are normally based on conjecture, it should nevertheless be mentioned that they are both part of the set fixed in the subjects of the rock engravings as well as that of the churches of Normandy (numbers 68-76, 78-83).

From time to time, one comes across a figure with enormous hands in the rock engravings. He has been called “the god with big hands”. Dr. Just Bing considered that he represented one of the two great Indo-European gods, who was “the god of fire” and “the god of heaven” (the “god with large hands” corresponding to the first mentioned). But his arguments were, once again, so based on his desires that there is little reason to retain them. There is, on the contrary, every reason to draw attention to the strange figures with big hands, numbers 84 and 85. The 84 is of special interest, being additionally equipped with a large spiral “sun form” on the belly.

The most common subject of the northern rock engravings remains the cup-shaped hole, interpreted as an offering cup. In rock art, this is a subject as widespread throughout the world as foot and hand prints. The holes are gathered together in thousands, and often placed in relation to each other in a precise composition. They can form solar images. There is a large wheel on a Bohuslen engraving where the inner spaces are filled with tight holes. Is this the celestial wheel with the stars? A primitive zodiac?

Who knows? In a Norwegian engraving by Ostfold we see a long, narrow path of holes that climbs up the mountain to surround a sun sign. Is this the Milky Way? It does not seem that an absolute dependence is logically necessary between the holes and the solar cult proper, and at least not directly between them and the agrarian cult of the earth, since these holes are found among the rock engravings far away in the high mountains of Norway, where any possibility of cultivation is excluded or, at best, would have encountered extremely unfavourable conditions, even in the hot climate of the Neolithic and Bronze Age.

Yet another subject dear to rock engravings is the snake. It stands on the ship as well as in front of men in a posture of adoration. He too participates in the general worship of the sun and fecundity. On work calendars (runic sticks) in Sweden, the day of the spring equinox - March 21 - is sometimes represented by a snake (Ostergotland and Kalmarfaif ), and sometimes by a plough (Uppland ). This established link is not without interest since a rock engraving by Bohuslen shows a close combination of a snake and a plough. Fertility and death are only two sides of the same coin, and in this relationship the snake plays a considerable role in Nordic beliefs, as well as in those of Russia. But since the snake belongs to the group of great universal signs, its particular interpretation over a limited area is very difficult to establish. The relationship with this world can be seen in numbers 10, 30-31, 33-35.

Thus we have examined the close relationship between the main subjects of the Nordic rock engravings and those on the walls of the churches of Normandy, this does not of course imply at all that a direct relationship between the two has been proven. Seen against the background of all that has just been explained about traditions and their behaviour in general, it seems, however, that we can see that all this reveals at the very least a problem whose solution would be of considerable interest.

Should such a direct relationship be suspected, there is in any case an important reservation to be made. It is absolutely excluded that Bronze Age religious philosophy could have been a conscious spiritual force in the Normandy of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. What could have been, at that time, the conscious interpretation of these signs? For example, can the relationship between the sun and the image of the church be considered for landscape design purposes (numbers 160-161)? Against this eventuality speaks the fact that the sun sign is found in combinations where such interpretations have very little natural basis. Its relationship with the crosses indicates other ways of interpretation.

Analytically, the study that I present here has two bases of equal importance: the principle of complementarity highlighted above and the concept of field. The latter was developed by the American psychologist Kurt Lewin, “Topological psychology”. Having realized that no socio-cultural system is a closed and isolated system, I believe I have sufficiently emphasized the dynamic value of this concept of field. There is no such thing as a closed field. There are always superimpositions, juxtapositions, overlappings between systems. The permanence of a field of tension implies the existence of real possibilities of transformation and renewal. The thesis that I developed in “Socioculture” (1956) seems to us to be in a perspective close to Jorn’s “situlogy”, a situlogy conceived as a dynamic or experimental topology.

The non-traditional examination of the nature of intellectual consciousness reveals the importance of the principle of complementarity. Let us return to the classical image of consciousness. A lighthouse whose narrow brush of light successively sweeps the entire horizon. From any sector of this horizon, however considerable the light projected by the attention, it would be impossible for us to have any image of it if the rest of the horizon was not simultaneously present as if by the glow of a night light. Essential complementarity which is inscribed in the very simultaneity of these two different levels of consciousness, one precise, the other diffuse.

Asger Jorn: Sauvagerie, barbarie et civilisation

All the ignominious possibilities of human behaviour and conduct are embodied and materialised in a few situations and a few simple acts. The words that name these elementary acts and situations are neither learned nor numerous. VANDAL, BARBARE, a few others, and the list is quickly closed: the clear conscience wants to know nothing about them.

Horrible and monstrous facts and words - taboos - the conscience shuns them, denies the intelligence the right to free examination, and methodically maintains a long and persistent incuriosity towards them. As proof of this, just one example: once incest has been denounced and told, 2,000 years have elapsed before anyone has dared to seek and tell how it is rooted in the heart of man.

VANDAL’s word alone has such emotional implications and provokes such horrified opposition - all emotional opposition - that it is reasonable to think that the very mystery of the conduct it purports to designate is thickened by it. The word is less a source of clarity than of obscurity.

It therefore seems to me essential to finally place vandalism in its true light. And to report, as accurately as possible, on what is considered one of its most spectacular manifestations: graffiti.

Pride in a solidarity that is perhaps too violently felt? I dare to say right away that I did not think without emotion, in front of these churches of Normandy, of the patient and laborious hands that dug, engraved, the stone. Stealthy and trembling also - these hands - since it was forbidden. To imagine that they could have been animated by the blindest passion - that of destruction - reveals, in my opinion, a profound aberration. And not only of the mind but also of the heart. The very one allegedly denounced in this way.

The act of destruction never seems so pure - I mean so absolute - to us as when it involves stone. We must remember that, after having made its mark in the prehistoric ages of mankind, stone has also occupied historical times, and this in an essentially twofold way: construction and destruction. The importance of these two antinomic functions is reflected in all religions: Christianity - building stone and stoning - Islam and others, in a less explicit but equally strong symbolism. This duality of its use is our very ambivalence, which, over the millennia at first, and centuries thereafter, has been inscribed in the only solid matter that man has known for a long time.

The presence of stone is too fundamental for us not to be sensitive to its negation, in an extreme way. Whether it is ignored - used simply as a support by graffiti addicts - or put down by vandals - that is what we cannot stand, what scandalizes us. And, at the same time, it forbids us to understand and know the approach and motives of these authors of engraved and drawn signs and images; it condemns us to know nothing of the impulse that pushes some men more than others to destroy.

Already some excellent minds have endeavoured to stop dispossessing the clear conscience of its means, to no longer blithely stigmatize the conduct of this people of the North - the Vandals - but to study the nature of an energy and the meaning of a need - vandalism.

Their efforts led to the birth of vandalismology.

Knowing exactly how the Vandals lived and who they were, what were the trials, goals and difficulties of this people, became part of the problem. And, even more centrally, the study of this same force, rage and purpose: to destroy, blindly destroy.

The word BARBARIAN has been made to designate those who stubbornly refuse to accept any rhetoric. There is no justification for this, except that in politics, the methods of Nordic parliamentarians are opposed to Latin discourse.

In France, in the popular sense, “la barbe” is an expression that expresses an annoying and unpleasant situation. In Scandinavia, it refers to a fun and funny situation.

It has become possible today to see that the emotional potential contained in the word VANDAL is an unfortunate gift of the hereditary collective memory. This very memory, the prowess of which has been abundantly emphasized by contemporary psychology, has also proved to be fallible on this very point. In fact, the synonymy of the words VANDAL and DESTRUCTOR more obscures the conduct it purports to designate than it serves or facilitates its clear representation. Moreover, this memory would not have given us anything erroneous that I would not hesitate to make the following remark: both in biology and psychology, the faculty of forgetting and renewal are indispensable to life, if not to survival.

Vandalismology is a science in the making, but it already has its own methods and history.

A Frenchman, Louis Réau, is to be credited with trying to identify and classify the various varieties of vandalism. Defining it as the destruction of monuments of historical or artistic significance, he was able to make the following classification on the basis of its effects:

WITH UNDISCLOSED MOTIVES: Sadistic vandalism: The brutal instinct for destruction; Greedy vandalism: Blind greed of looters; Envious vandalism: Erasing the trail of predecessors; Intolerant vandalism: Religious and revolutionary fanaticism: Foolish vandalism: Graffitomania.

WITH AVOWABLE MOTIVES: Religious vandalism. Prude vandalism; Sentimental or atoning vandalism; Aesthetic vandalism of taste; Elginist and collector vandalism, -

In addition to this diverse classification, the British - under the impetus of Martin S. Briggs - wanted to add an additional category: lack of maintenance, which would be considered as negligent vandalism.

The French vigorously opposed this, and, rightly personalizing the debate, refused this possible opening to anonymity. Indeed, in order to be able to truly denounce vandalism, it seems essential to be able to indicate not only an act, but also a responsible agent. Assuming this last point is not necessary, we would end up, in a pantheistic (or only trendy) country, in front of the spectacle of the natural degradation of things, with a heresy of the kind: God is Vandal.

Any such heresy would quickly lead to the temptation to consider oneself divine. The traditional mentality of the Danish province of Vendsyssel attests to this possibility.

The intransigence of the English positions and the traditional docility of Danish politicians and scholars towards them make us fear that the remarkable rise of vandalismology in the post-war years may ultimately work against its very aims.

The history of the meaning of the word VANDAL is a long one. However, it is only in modern times that the meaning of this word will become definitively locked up in the traditional clichés we know today.

In 1739, in the middle of the Enlightenment, Voltaire reported the colonnade of the Louvre “masked and disgraced by buildings of Goths and Vandals”.

Forty-five years later, in August 1794, a former member of the clergy of Lorraine, who had become a constitutional bishop - the Abbot Gregory - employed him in a report presented to the Convention (14 Fructidor Year III).

“Why did he choose to pillory the Vandals rather than the Goths, the Huns, the Philistines or the Boeotians? “asks Louis Réau, who explains:

“The Philistines were barbarians only in the eyes of their enemies, the Israelites; and the Boeotians were seen as heavyweights only in comparison with the Athenians. The reputation of the savagery of the Germanic hordes, on the other hand, was well established in Western Europe, a victim of the great invasions. The Romans kept the memory of the Vandalica Rabies, one of the first attacks of furor teutonicus of which Rome had been victim in 445. The Vandals had sacked the Eternal City for fifteen days. »

During the Middle Ages, the popularity of images of Samson’s activity (destruction and displacement of monuments) did not challenge the Philistines themselves: Samson did not become one of the symbols of the fight against vandalism.

What assumptions can be made about crimes whose reality is not perpetuated by monuments? No vandalized boastfulness. As opposed to the Romans. We know the monument that Titus had erected to commemorate the looting of Jerusalem - the sacred city - and to show the importance of the loot. It would be very difficult for us if the Gauls, in turn, had destroyed the Roman monuments that symbolized their defeat, to comment on their vandalism.

Napoleon’s conquests and destruction were illustrated by short scenes on the Vendôme column. But, under the Commune, the painter Courbet was responsible for the destruction of the boring column, and the French themselves do not know, today, where the vandal is.

That a nation wants to commemorate the high points of its history with architectural ensembles is essentially a political fact. It has nothing to do with architectural aesthetics. And therefore does not guarantee its value.

There are countless heroes whose memory is served by the statuary that seeks to honour them, and we know of entire cities whose architecture and statuary are monumental errors, if not horrors.

Moreover, the gregarious instinct does not necessarily engender taste and aesthetic sense. The civilizing role of cities is neither obvious nor absolute. It follows that the partial or total destruction of an urban ensemble does not necessarily constitute an act of vandalism.

My childhood in the homeland of the Vandals and Teutons left me with clear memories. I remember that the black activity of the big industrial cities was reputed to be satanic. And I have not forgotten the stories we were told - Sodom and Gomorrah; and again: the Tower of Babel. All stories in which God was present, and through which a state of mind and a moral position is expressed, whose reasons and validity I, as an essential artist, feel it is more important to rediscover than to oppose them blindly and categorically.

Louis Réau pays unreserved homage to the Romans for their colonization of Gaul - “a work of civilization, in the noblest sense of the word” - but he then radically changes his position towards the northern invaders, particularly the Normans. And when he then wondered what could be credited to the Norman invaders, he discovered only one thing: “the birth of Romanesque architecture, which the English prefer to call, not without reason, the Norman style”. Let us recall in passing that this Norman style appeared to the humanists of the Italian Renaissance to be indescribably ugly - a barbaric, “Gothic” phenomenon.

In Byzantium, there was a great deal of religious vandalism - vandalism that Louis Réau was only imperfectly able to distinguish and isolate. Some priests scratched the icons, detaching them from the plots of land they collected in a chalice, with the intention of making the faithful take communion. These icons - the pinnacle of religious art at the time - were thus truly delivered for consumption.

This fetishism of absorption caused the meaning and significance of art to be changed and obscured.

To stop this vandalism of nutrition, which had become ritual, the Emperor decreed iconoclasm; all those who privately owned icons were invited to bring them to Constantinople, where they were burned in public places. This was obviously a counterbalance to vandalism by another: that of the sacrifice, of the potlatch.

However, this governmental vandalism cannot be compared to the first - popular one.

In the first case, it was a party. This consumption - however naive it may have been - contained genuine elements of love and faith: it was happy vandalism.

P.V. Glob reports, among other cases, that of cake-images whose perfect absorption involved the destruction of human beings, and therefore a certain cannibalism. Anthropophagy comes more precisely from Teutonism of which it reveals, aberrantly, the will of purity and aestheticism. And it is the aberrations of this will that are found in the vandal domain - a domain where historical data compels us to establish similar categories.

Emile Male, in his work “The end of paganism in Gaul”, informs us of the fame - in medieval and northern France - of the tomb of the Merovingian bishop Saint-Drausin. This tomb, now kept in the Louvre Museum, was originally in the church of Notre-Dame in Soissons. The knights who went to fight in an enclosed field stayed near it, and Saint Thomas of Canterbury, who was about to return to England where he knew he would have to face Henry II, held a vigil of arms there. Coming on pilgrimage, the faithful used to take a few pieces of the lid with them, which they diluted in water and made the sick drink. This custom, which continued for centuries, made the lid almost completely disappear. The one we see today in the Louvre is not the original one, but another one which is Visigoth and comes from the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

Also in Spain, the tombs of the Visigothic kings show traces of the same activity.

We are forced to note that we are no longer simply here in the notion of sacrifice inherent in any art, but rather in the face of an avowed sarcophagy. We must think that it was the Germanic peoples who spread the custom of absorbing sarcophagi by mouth.

The similar destruction of the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs would rather have been the work of North African vandals. Moreover, the sheer extent of the destruction leads us to suppose that the export to Germanic Europe of this substance, so greatly appreciated by the pharmacopoeia of the Middle Ages, was highly organized.

The deformations of the walls of Norman churches - especially in Damville - seem to bear witness to this surprising variety of vandalism. And I don’t think I would venture to say that the Normans, when they landed in Gaul, introduced the ancient Germanic custom of ingestion of symbolically sacred materials. Materials that also included the walls of religious buildings.

Now the mystery of the relationship between the Templars and Norman graffiti (especially those of Gisors: barefoot prints) has been cleared up. It is no longer possible to charge them with an accusation - even implicit - of a desire for concealment and secrecy: the Templars were simply sarcophagi.

The oldest chess games in Europe are of Scandinavian origin.

One of them - now in the British Museum - was found on the Isle of Man, and represents a warrior devouring a shield.

This particular type of eater is well known from Viking chronicles. It belonged to a warrior body - the Jomvikings or “single warriors” whose mythical leader was Palna-Thoke, related to both William Tell and Till Eulenspiegel the Madman. The Jomvikings were also known as Ber saerk “the bearskins”. They were said to derive their delirious fury from the ab sorption of a drug extracted from a mushroom.

We know that this warlike organization, removed from the authority of kings, played a central and secret role in the Viking conquest of Normandy and England. It seems to me possible to argue that the organization of the Templars was, in fact, a reorganization of the Jomsvikings.

A skillful mix of unscrupulous journalism and remarkable new facts in themselves - the entire work of Gérard de Sède is imbued with a mysticism and esotericism that some would describe as dubious and unpleasant. However, reputed specialists were quick to criticize the lack of seriousness of the positions that the method used by de Sède (also by the review Planète) necessarily institutes. And these specialists to withdraw with dignity.

However, one cannot identify with the “tabloid press” - no reader has ever been mistaken - works that bring something new, true and surprising. Where, according to some suspicious minds, they have done so, we must see a process of purification essential to progress.

Perhaps the fault lies exclusively with the Scandinavians’ taste for the literal explanation, but I feel incapable of looking at the fate of the Templars with the seriousness that the French bring to it.

The Knights Templar were the defenders of a theocracy doomed in advance to failure, because it was based on a religion that is not of this world.

Neither erosion on the one hand, nor the Norman’s willingness to swallow it on the other, is sufficient to explain why the stone of Norman buildings has been so bitten and eaten away at.

Attached to the act of sharpening - and for centuries - an important sexual symbolism leads us to believe that the stone of church walls was used there as a whetstone. Oral tradition confirms this use - both for weapons and for agricultural tools used for harvesting.

The act of sharpening was a sacred act.

To my knowledge, there are few studies on this subject. However, Professor Michel de Bouard confirms that the whetstone was an object often found in the graves of Merovingian warriors.

The most spectacular is the one in the shape of a scepter with several heads, found at Sutton Hoo. As a symbol of male sexuality, it is of great interest and directly related to the myths about Odin. Especially with the myth that Odin seized the Kvasir drink contained in three vases hidden by the giant Suttung and watched over by his daughter - Gunlod. After sharpening the sickles of nine men (who later killed each other), Odin twisted a hole in the mountain into a snake and slid down to the girl and the treasure.

The stone that the Norman peasants carry, during the harvest, in a horn attached to their belt, seems to us to intersect the northern version of the sign of the Grail. These same peasants would like to point out that they hold the stone wet by urinating in the horn. Pictured by graffiti number 91. Pagan interpretation of the Grail sign.

Micturition and whetstone are found in the Norse myths of Thor and Hrungnir.

The Skâldskaparmâl stories mentioned by Georges Dumézil give us the details. It is about the battle of Thor and Hrungnir. The latter has a heart, head and shield made of stone, and also has - as an offensive weapon - a whetstone (note that his heart is of a shape that later became that of the sign of Odin). Flanked by a clay dummy supposed to represent him, he goes to the place of rendezvous fixed for the battle and waits there for Thor.

When Thor arrives, the clay man is so frightened, it is said, “that he pisses when he sees Thor”. Thor smashes the whetstone of Hrungnir with his hammer (a splinter will come to settle in his head) and then smashes his skull; but dragged into the fall of Hrungnir, he also falls and finds his neck caught under one of his feet. In order to free Thor thus held prisoner, it will be necessary to call upon his son - a toddler three nights old - who will succeed without difficulty. Thor will give the horse of Hrungnir to his son as a reward and, for doing so, will receive a reprimand from Odin.

Georges Dumézil thinks it possible that the tricorn character - a singular precision - of Hrungnir’s heart is to be classified among the various triplicities of the adversaries opposed to the warrior hero, or to the God. These triplicities are typical, he adds, of many Indo-European legends: the three-headed adversary of the Indian Indra; of the Iranian Ferridûn; the three Curiaces defeated by the young Horace; Geyron, Heracles’ adversary; the three Meic Nechtain, Cûchulainn’s adversaries; Meche with a triple heart killed by Mac Cecht.

For us, the symbolism of the three is that of an acting, sacred and dangerous number. It seems to us to signify past, present and future time. A little like the nine that appears in the very old Germanic songs as meaning life and movement, but, in addition, the seal of fatality.

We have already said that the whetstone seems to us to be - by extension from the meaning of the knife - a symbol of male sexuality. The presence of the foot in graffiti still confirms us in this opinion.

The main accusation against the Templars was, according to John Charpentier, that in every province they had idols. These consisted of heads, some with three faces and others with human skulls.

John Charpentier did not think it unreasonable to think that the bapho-metrical images of the Temple looked like a kind of Janus. Cathedral builders were busy with the same baphomet. In Jutland, stones from the Viking period have been found representing triple heads - one of them with a third eye on the forehead, it is thought to be the representation of Mimir, who had received the eye of Odin (for wisdom). (See ill. 219.)

By all these various facts and clues, we are led to suppose that, in any case, it is this famous whetstone housed in the forehead of the god.

A study of the history of the Jomvikings and their relationship with the medieval knightly orders would fill a great gap. Also missing is a study on the worship of the whetstone.

The silence on these two points does not allow for the discovery of other than superficial relations between the Knights Templar and Norman graffiti.

This mystery, a factor that disturbs judgment, must be lifted and, in this particular case, we must denounce the contempt that official positions traditionally show for anything that goes beyond the general framework of an era.

We do not have the impression that the narrative of this struggle - of this confrontation - is being told by a neutral and impersonal witness, but rather that the reciter himself has been involved in the adventure that is being narrated to us. Who is he or she? In our opinion: an opponent of Odin, therefore Thor. The hypothesis that Thor is the narrator fits quite well with the accounts of the time when peace reigned between Thor and Odin. It also explains Odin’s blame as corresponding to the traces in his memory of their long previous hostility. Let us return to the ideas we hold dear: in any conflict there are always three elements, and only one of them plays - psychologically speaking - the role of a victim. I am thinking here of the beheaded by the stone splinter in the forehead. Let us call him Mimir, the wisdom that possessed the eye of Odin. What could he have told us?

Let’s try and identify his story with that of Baldr, killed by the blind Hoder who Loke assisted. Let us note in passing that this myth has strange connections with the myth of Palna-Toke - founder of the Jomsvikings organization - and William Tell, both of them shooting with a bow and arrow at an apple placed on their son’s head. Hoder’s use of mistletoe as an arrow reveals some possible links with the Celtic world. However, there are many other indications that this cult is pre-Celtic, linked to the Ibero-Ligurian Neolithic culture. In this one, we find the name of Baldr in the form of Bellin. Curiously, a phallic statue bearing this name was discovered in the south of France by an archaeologist named Bellin. The account of this one is very amusing, because Mr. Bellin is completely unaware of the popular use that is made, in Liguria, of this word with a phallic meaning.

It is of irresistible interest for an artist to discover the relationship between Bellin and the concept of belleza: beauty linked to bellicose aggressiveness - a strong reminder of the idea of Shiva. The origin of this word is not Latin. There are no traces of it in Germanic languages either, except for the word shön, whose Scandinavian equivalent kô’n means both sex and beauty.

That the Scandinavian language still has a third word to express beauty - the word smuk - does not seem to me to be due to chance. In India, the very ancient Harivamska calls the pre-Aryan deity Vayupurana “Smukha Trishira”, that is to say “the three-headed beauty”. It is also in India that the three-headed phallus is found as a Linga symbol - a sign of Shiva. Another of these three-headed statuettes was found in Dalmatia, in Zdrapanj, not far from a mountain called “Svante-vit” - which means “to see everything”. Svante-vit” is the name of a statue found in Rügen, which was a Jomsviking centre. We know another one from Husiatyn, Poland. In terms of form, we see many similarities between the three-headed figure of the pre-Aryan culture of Middle Aryan-Daro - a figure sitting in a yoga position - and “the Celtic gods”.

Although we do not lack the desire to do so, we will not dwell on elaborating an aesthetic based on the fundamental forms of this statuette, because the history of this image awaits us. And it reserves us surprises of a burning topicality.

In his book “Die dreikôpfigeGottheit”, Willibald Kirfel argues that the origin of this image of the three-headed god dates back to the pre-Celtic, megalithic (or Neolithic) period and that it has its place in the Mediterranean cultural world. Among the African Jorubas, it is called Schango - the god of thunder - and is linked to secret organizations. She can be found all over the world.

Frobenius assures that through the number three expresses the feeling and the idea of Time-.past, present, future, and that the number four is a projection in space of the directions of the flat surface. Frobenius’ proposal seems to be corroborated by the existence of Spanish pictorial representations of the month of January: triple heads which, by their obvious symbolism, send us back to secularity. This explains the Catholic Church’s opposition to the three-faced image of the Trinity. The Christian concept of duality probably stems from the notion of opposites such as black and white and the double face of Janus (January).

The French National Library holds a drawing by Botticelli illustrating one of the scenes from Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”. Botticelli represented Dante at the side of a three-headed devil. Dante wrote: “Oh how great a subject of wonder it seemed to me when I saw that his head had three faces. One in front, and this one was red. The one on the right appeared between white and yellow. The one on the left was similar in appearance to the faces of the people who came from where the Nile descends (that is, between blue and black). »

Let us remember that the book for which Abelard was condemned concerned the Trinity, and that the oratory he had built in Nogent-sur-Seine was also dedicated to the Trinity.

It is interesting to compare Botticelli’s diabolical triple head to Titian’s allegory of Prudence: an old man (himself), his son and his nephew; that is, the Past of Age, the Present of Maturity and the Future of Youth - a text which suggests that the Present can both benefit from past experiences and not compromise future actions. In this image of Titian, Erwin Panofsky sees a prayer made by Titian to his son to give his nephew every chance to flourish. Panofsky reports Giordano Bruno’s penetrating analysis of the three faces of Time. All the analyses of this image of Titian - very simple in appearance - reveal conflicts of interpretation, passionate conflicts from which, paradoxically, Prudence is banished. The totality of Western languages reveal, in syntax, a Time divided into Past, Present and Future, forms to which every mind must necessarily become accustomed and which, in practice, have become commonplace for everyone. The language that breaks Time down for us, on a formal level, into three different aspects, into three images of different moments, this language is for the mind a mould whose considerable importance has escaped us until the last few years. Prisoners of language - it has long been impossible for us to escape the Time that syntax represents for us. This syntax breaks down into an apparently harmonious triplicity of pure Duration; that is to say, it demands of us an important mental operation: that which consists in intuitively grasping that only one of the aspects - only one of the forms of Time is always opposable to the other two assemblies. The concept of triplicity, in which three elements play the same role, conceals and obscures the principle of antagonism: any one element is always opposable to all the other two. Stéphane Lupasco has studied the structure of a particular antagonism - that of the static and the dynamic: “In order for any event to take place, at any moment and in any place in the Universe, an energy, a dynamism must be able to pass from a certain state of potentialization to a certain state of actualization, otherwise, rigorously actualized or actualized, one could not even speak of energy, of dynamism, everything would be static, stagnant, since always and forever. »

The triple polarization of Time, as it appears in language, is indeed the image of that eternal static of which Lupasco speaks: “Thus any energy - any energetic movement - in any form - implies an antagonistic event and such that the actualization of one leads to the potentialization (virtualization) of the other. “It is the union of any two of the aspects in which Time appears to us that has the power to actualize it and, on the other hand, to virtualize or potentiate its third aspect. It follows, therefore, that the notion of Time conceals three different kinds of antagonisms, which differ according to the nature of the one aspect of Time that one chooses to oppose to the other two. We will have the meeting of the past-present opposing its virtualized opposite: the future; then the past-future opposing the present; and finally the present-future opposing the past.

Lupasco states: “An antagonistic pair of energetic events and anti-energetic events constitutes - and only he can constitute - a system, that is, that set of events linked and controlled by intrinsic dynamic forces or relationships, inherent4 in the events themselves. This is what I have formalized in a Logic of Systems or Systemology. Many are certainly the possible combinations of these systems of systems, many their chains in tree expansion or systemogenesis; however, there are always three of them. »

When I examined the structure of Latin culture, it seemed to me - even before I became acquainted with Lupasco’s theories (which did not address the problem of Time and its triple aspect) - that this system of Latin structures involved an actualisation of the past-future, and a virtualisation of the present; that on the contrary the Byzantine and Russian structures had a present-future opposable to the past, and finally that the Nordic structures were essentially a past-present actualisation and a virtualisation of the future.

On the theological level, the symbolism of the Trinity offers us a good opportunity to understand the opposition of the Aryanism of the Germanic peoples to the Romanicity of the Latins: between Father and Son, a distinction of essences to which the latter are absolutely opposed. An opposition which, freed from all theological terminology, is reappearing today in Europe on the scientific, philosophical and artistic levels. The famous scientist and theorist Werner Heisenberg highlights in “Physics and Philosophy” the fact that “in classical theory we assume that the future and the past are separated by an infinitely short interval of time that we can call the present. In relativity theory, we have learned that this is not the case: the future and the past are separated by a time interval that exists and whose duration depends on the distance between the observed phenomenon and the observer. “One cannot better emphasize the fact that in classical theory the present is dimensionless, i.e. without a face, and therefore time is reduced to only two dimensions: a Janus head. The relativity that gives the present a dimension makes it an elective place of possible encounter between these two poles that the past and the future represent for us. A time of dialogue is thus instituted: that of the necessary delay between question and answer.

Locke, who defines knowledge as “the perception of the agreement or disagreement of two ideas”, leaves us in the embarrassment of deciding by which antagonism the knowledge of the idea of the relativistic present is made: is it by the idea of the past or by the idea of the future? Certainly neither of these two ideas can play a role by themselves, while their union in a single concept of past-future has the force of opposition - antagonism - with respect to the present: “the properties of symmetry are always the most essential characteristics of a theory”. Between the real - the ultimate form of the present - and the possible - the union of the past and the future - there are relations that have long remained mysterious.

However, this merging into a single concept of past and future, as well as the notion of antagonism, has just been vigorously criticized by a young Russian scientist, Mr. N.A. Kozyrev, who stated that “there is no symmetry between action and reaction, that time can only pass in one direction: from past to future; and that the future is in essence completely different from the past.”

I thought that the approach to the problem would not be easier for me with Kozyrev’s theories on time-oriented time than with Lupasco’s theories on antagonisms, all these theories not being sufficiently familiar to me and that, consequently, the best approach would be, for me, the theory of colours. So I tried to find a new solution in this area. The first obstacle encountered in this field was the evidence of a conflict between Niels Bohr’s theory of complements and the Hegelian and Marxist dialectic.

The notion of the “complementarity” of colours had been perfectly defined long before Bohr began his studies. The word “complementary” was used to designate contrasting colours at opposite ends of any diameter of the spectral circle. Colours that, when mixed, neutralize each other and always produce a similar grey, regardless of the chosen diameter.

This polarization of so-called “complementary” colours, but which we prefer to call contrasting, seemed to obey marvellously to the principles of the Hegelian dialectic - thesis, anti-thesis, synthesis. Using Lupasco’s terminology, we will name potential or virtual colours, blue, yellow and red, which are on the spectral circle three irreducible sectors. These colours oppose each other like the angles of a triangle, and not in a double polarized antagonism. Red is a mixture of yellow and blue - green; blue is a mixture of red and yellow - orange; yellow is a mixture of red and blue - purple. From these findings, I have established that any mixture is characterized as an actualized pole. Variability or play are the elements that (at least) the mixture reveals. From this definition, from this place given to play by any mixture, Lupasco was unable - or unwilling - to take into account in its system. He became prisoner of an antagonism limited to the opposition of the homogeneous and the heterogeneous. Antiquity already knew the triangular model of the three invariable constants. It appears as three superimposed triangles, forming a star, in the seal of Solomon known as the “seal of Good and Evil”. Drawing the diagonals that link them together is, in terms of communication, to bring about a reconciliation between Kant and Hegel.

The simultaneity of Lupascot’s awareness in Koryzev and myself seems to me to be historically significant, if we take into account the fact that they were carried out in an absolutely independent manner; Lupasco’s concern was only a certain need for clarity in the logic-philosophical domain; Koryzev, the desire to respond to certain astro-scientific demands; and finally, myself, a purely artistic interest in the problem of colours - after Goethe and the painter Runge, the desire to understand them better.

Lupasco stresses that light and “death” are synonymous. In a Newtonian perspective, however, the different colours make up light: it follows that the world of colours extends beyond the limit of “death”. On this particular point, Goethe rejects any interest in Newtonian theory by asserting that the division of light into colours is an inverse process - from materialisation to a tendency towards “life”. It seemed to me that the ignorance and contempt in which the scholars held Goethe’s impressive assertions necessitated and made possible the elaboration of a third theory of light, complementary to the other two.

The scheme that I thought I should propose here - the Triolectic - arose from this critical examination of the interpretation of Copenhagen, which I had entitled “the interpretation of Silkeborg”. The situlogy, of which this schema is only a part, takes up the concept of situs analysis (Poincaré) but avoids giving too much importance to the notion of positional limit as formulated in the topology. Indeed, with Gaston Bachelard, we judge that, in the concept of the situation, the event and the time must be involved.

Some examples of triolectic complementarity

We present here some triolectic equilibrium models applied to different conceptual domains. It should be stressed that these are simple working bases, not dogmatic, which can be modified and extended. It is in their nature to be open, starting, for example, on a number greater than three relations, this method being obviously not linked to any number mysticism. Its purpose is to liberate the fixed dialectical movements either in the submixist determinism or in the non-chosen antagonisms where Lupasco got stuck.

**Triolectic diagrams** The future being the goal, and the present the instrument or means, the past represents the result. The triple possibility of fusion imposed by the establishment of the three antagonisms is thus presented: Teleology. The goal justifies the means (present-future fusion); Experimentalism. It is neither before nor during the act that a justification can take place, but only when the result is there. The result justifies the means used (fusion) past-present). Moralism. The goal merges with the result and justification is opposed to both; justification justifies itself because it is an instrumental means (past-future fusion). One must be able to choose between these three dialectics. They cannot be confused. Each has its own logic. Concepts formed from three elements in a static order risk remaining shrouded in mystery and not being clear enough for the mind; they require a deeper study of the very conditions of their formation. Two out of three of the given elements always correspond to this formation, and the opposing concepts are in opposition to each other. In order to be well understood, and to be well executed, this mental operation requires us to be fully aware that all our concepts are affected by a dynamism proper to life. This is why a sketch (even rudimentary) of the most elementary data of this formation of concepts appeared necessary to us. We have undertaken this work here, but we must express our reservations about the conclusions. We have therefore grouped together in groups of three the words that seem to us to be the basic elements of this formation of triple concepts. The list below does not claim to be exhaustive; however, with the help of this classification into a system, it may become possible to for each of us to become aware of the antagonisms in which we electively and symbolically inscribe our conduct. Obviously, we are so accustomed to hearing and understanding these words in a number of meanings other than those of the dynamism of life alone, that it will certainly be disconcerting to find them here in their ideal static purity. We have classified them into three groups which correspond preferentially to the Latin forms of Germanic and Byzantine structuring activities. A Swedish scholar has shown that in optics the phenomenon of the transformation of triple contrasting colours is related to the Gila fabric and that their juxtaposition is done in this fabric. The study of the phenomenon is difficult because of the lack of sufficient psycho-physiological information. Greater knowledge will allow a better approach to mental illness. Lupasco's theory has the great merit of having highlighted the identity existing between the physical concept of potentiality and the ethical concept of virtuality. The sacred and the taboo are concept words in which the ambivalence of ethics and theology on the one hand, and the power of the fulfilling Mana on the other, are particularly strong. Between the sacred (virtualized) and the divine (actualized) we have established the existence of a certain antagonism - antagonism which restores the word Divine to its original content: play - variation. The history of the whole of Christianity is, after all, that of its division into complementary antagonisms, that of the successive schisms of the Church. These have finally revealed three distinct areas: the Greek-Byzantine church: game present-future; the Roman-Catholic church: past-future; Nordic Protestantism: past-present. Here we have three complementary concepts of the sacred: first, the concept of the past, which I will call "production", because in industrial society production and reproduction are equivalent; second, the concept of the present, which is "administration"; and third, "consumption", which corresponds to the sacred future of Protestants. Whatever it costs us and whatever discomfort it causes us, we must bear in mind these types of concepts, which are so dreadfully contradictory, since they are born of radically different mental processes. We must not give in to the dangerous ease of believing it possible - with Raymond Aron - to harmonize a system of hierarchy of values (such as his) with Max Weber's world of free play. Let us refuse what would be a fallacious illusion. And let's not hide the fact that there is an obligation of choice here for those who wish to avoid that, one day, a cohesion built on misunderstandings and false agreements will be shattered. A spectacle that I fervently hope I will not witness with sadness... To take the full dimension of the drama that is currently playing out in people's consciences, one only has to hear Stéphane Lupasco say without hesitation: "All psychiatry must be revised". A statement in relation to which we immediately - optimistically - inscribe our triolectic system, eminently capable, in our opinion, of bringing some clarification on the functioning of the deep psyche, and of giving a rational account of the nature of the great mental illnesses that have been incurable up to now. It is not our opinion (in contrast to Lupasco, who seems to cultivate schizophrenia) that development should take place from the concrete to the abstract. Currently turned almost exclusively towards popular art, the plastic arts manifest at least by this very impulse a health that it would be vain to deny them. Among the antagonisms that Lupasco is concerned about, there is one in which his thought is particularly captive, it seems to us: that of space and time. "The simultaneity of certain cerebral events engenders the notion of space," Lupasco assures us. We have known for a long time - let's say since Heisenberg - that the notions of space and time are not alien to each other but, on the contrary, that they are identical, the present also being simultaneous. Between question and answer there is a time limit, a duration which is the present itself, the real being space. That the time between question and answer is longer and the present will grow all the more - at the expense of the past and the future. At the limit, we would find an absolute, integral, eternal present: "Waiting for Godot". The false and illusory possibility of introducing some balance into the antagonism of time and space has been denounced, with subtle effectiveness, by Kozyref, who has shown us the differences in essence between the components (the past, the future) of the notion of time. The sense of the sacred evolves and the notion of the divine also undergoes metamorphoses. The diversity of these transformations could make us believe in a progress in Art, so much our emotional or mental dispositions are sometimes changed. Suddenly we no longer recognize ourselves in this or that spiritual kinship, in this or that intellectual family. Yes, we are unstable: in turn we are also turned towards the old arts or towards the new ones. Nevertheless, it is the complex human being who seeks his way to life in this way - in ourselves. If I had succeeded in showing, by the example of one of these transformations, the immutability of its mechanism (as immutable as the range of colours), my attempt would not have been entirely in vain. The transformation of the material conditions of man's life is easily and commonly related to progress - to industrial progress. Perhaps there is a carefree lightness here that future generations - if not ourselves - may pay a high price for. For this "progress" is strangely, frighteningly pervasive. If we wish to prevent its monstrously inhuman efficiency from increasing without limit, if we wish to prevent its power from spreading to infinity and if we wish to prevent man from becoming the frightened victim of an insane holocaust, we must remain masters of the thousand material circumstances that make up the fabric of our daily lives. Keep them at our service. Not to pass to theirs. It is an imperative alternative where the life of each person sometimes gets bogged down and sometimes blossoms, and from which only - let us say it - the artist with a creative spirit can truly free himself. Indeed, after Blake and Turner, who saw in dreams the pledge and guarantee of all truly fulfilled human existence and courageously charged it with the weight of their own lives, truly creative artists have embarked on this path where invention is queen and truth is the mandate. It is not in the power of any religious or ideological, spiritual or material power to subject the vitality of creative spirits to its law. For such spirits testify above all to their freedom. Their strength is not of an instrumental nature. Their strength is not of an instrumental nature; it would become instrumental if they ceased to exist as spirits. **The Triolectic Principle of Complementarity** Lupasco says: "As such -- as dynamics -- antithetical elements possess the constitutive property of the very notion of dynamism... The logic of the contradictory is a tridialectic, it generates three dialectics that are ordered. » The disjunction: it is the very cog in the wheel of dialectic: No dialectic without disjunction, and no disjunction without dialectic. OUR TRIOLECTIC PRESENTS ITSELF AXIOMATICALLY IN THE FOLLOWING WAY: We have previously demonstrated how and why these three dialectics are inevitable. By comparing the tridialectic dynamism with its correspondent of complementary static and triolect ique, we have shown the subtle mechanisms that govern them. Each disjunction is followed by a conjunction and, likewise, each conjunction is followed by a disjunction. The merger creates a fission (actualisation is the name given by Lupasco to this conjunction or merger). Each compromise isolates and virtualizes the opposite attitude. We have chosen to call the formation of an antagonism or a contradiction a mise en situation. The basic elements necessary for the birth of any situation can be ordered in such a way as to form two situations that are also different and complementary to the first one.

The antagonism of culture and civilization is not one of the least important sources of conflict in today’s world, which is why I believe it is necessary to elucidate as much as possible the mysteries contained in these notions.

We can consider culture as the actualization of a past-present (what is still called “tradition” or “vane”) and civilization as the actualization of a past-future (what is called “historicity” or “chronology”). These two systems, linked by their own antagonisms and having as potential either a present or a future, seem to us to manifest by their opposition the very diversity of the European North and South.

Louis Réau sees in vandalism one of the modalities of a much more important general phenomenon: barbarism.

He distinguishes between three major groups: Teutonism, Gothism or Gothicism and vandalism.

The first group corresponds to the unscrupulous destruction of defeated peoples; the second to the production of anti- or counter-classical ugliness; and the last, as we have already seen, to the destruction of all objects of civilization.

With a few rare exceptions, French specialists have adhered - with academic care - to this triple classification. It has become an authority throughout the world and, with it, the terminology used. It follows that behind the artificial structures of the horrible, we find all the Scandinavian peoples.

Is it suspected that this terminology - apparently a simple statement of fact - promotes something other than a need for clarity? It keeps alive the old obsession of the Goth, the Vandal and the Teuton…

It seems to us that the original purity of Gaul (that France before the Germanic invasions) has remained an object of nostalgia even today, in France itself.

In Scandinavia, a certain partial denial of our past and our opposition to pan-Germanist ideas have also contributed to the underhanded spread of the regrettable state of mind denounced above.

Would we - we Scandinavians - stop being publicly questioned by the terminology of this classification, would we stop being so accused and cited as the original source of barbarism that we would no doubt agree to keep silent. But since it seems to me that this must not stop, we must choose to speak out and make ourselves heard.

We must repeat that to permanently denounce a criminal’s criminality is to dangerously sensitize the criminal to that crime. And, given what we are talking about, it is risking awakening terrible forces whose control would quickly become hypothetical, if not impossible.

History teaches us that in fact many of those who stigmatized the Barbarians and pilloried them practiced Teutonism and vandalism themselves. What is more, they took glory from it, and their art or their chronicles bear abundant witness to this.

It is clear that the low level of consciousness that this boastfulness manifests is precisely what characterizes barbarism. Indeed, the importance of the degree of consciousness has become the most commonly adopted criterion by which one differentiates the barbarian from the civilized.

Although imperfectly intelligible, the values of the civilized world appear prestigious to the less civilized. They are likely to provoke their admiration and exert an eminent influence.

Men - with a low degree of civilization - are thus engaged in a reflexive effort upon themselves. In so doing, they will discover the intellectual and moral value of this act of reflection; and they will consider it fundamental. In judging this, it is precisely to reach a higher consciousness. It is soon to enjoy a critical faculty that can be exercised at the expense of the very teachers who taught it. It means being able to denounce their limits and, with the help of the intoxication of discovery, to adopt uncompromising principles of action against them. Finally, in the name of the latter, to want and undertake purifying actions such as “the renewal of blood”. We have seen that…

On the other hand, the promotion of consciousness as a civilizing instance is not without problems: to say that a man is transformed from barbaric to civilized by consciousness is to implicitly recognize that the unconscious and the subconscious are of a barbaric nature. The unconscious and subconscious are the substratum and nucleus of all human life. To it and to them is intimately linked this instinctive self-evaluation of man: culture - not the sum of abstract knowledge but true, spontaneous and dynamic culture, in a word, living culture.

We can see, therefore, that grouping together Civilization and Consciousness obscures the relationship between Civilization and Culture, and obscures the latter named in a slanderous manner.

How does Humanism, between Civilization and Culture, confront the obstacles that barbarism has in its path, and how does it rely on civilization and culture? This is what we must now ask ourselves.

Alexandre Mongait makes us know the official Russian position (L’Arché ologie en U.R.S.S.S.): culture and civilization are synonymous. Similar position among Americans (The science of culture, Leslie A. White). And the same identification can be found in France and Italy.

Let us define civilization as a framework and structure of utilitarian characters.

In Scandinavian countries, Christianity, the Renaissance and Modern Development - civilizing factors - have all played their part equally. Stages and levels of civilization, they have been deeply assimilated. But nowadays they have ceased to occupy the role of civilizing agents. They have become elements of culture.

Let us say it again: the same elements that for a long time derived their meaning from civilization have now become signs of culture.

At the outset - a complex of more or less happy but always conscious decisions - civilization now appears, in my native Denmark, to be natural: an evidence outside the field of consciousness. Civilization has become culture.

What does this change in meaning mean? Do we lose in civilization more than we gain in culture? Is there degradation and destruction of what has been achieved? Are we at last facing a phenomenon that must be described as barbaric?

Just as we look at the existence of agriculture before industry, and the existence of the countryside before the city, there are those who like to consider the existential anteriority of culture over civilization: they are the Humanists.

For us, it is enough for us to have observed in the Scandinavian countries the process of transformation described above to affirm, on the contrary, that civilization is prior to culture. We believe that not to see it in this way is to slyly substitute the idea of barbarity that is less than culture for the idea of another that is more than culture. One primary, the other decadent.

The acquisition of any new technique requires an apprenticeship - and what is called civilization (ultimately, culture) is one of them.

Learning during which the faculties of attention and concentration are necessary. It is impossible to be distracted or inattentive.

The same applies to culture and civilization. With only this one difference between the two that the Society emphasizes the second. Society in fact requires us to follow the transformation of the values of the civilized world on a permanent basis - otherwise we will appear asocial or be accused of incivility. It refuses to situate civilization and culture at different levels of human reality. Or else, if it agrees, it wants to believe that it is possible to occupy them at the same time: this is the bourgeois illusion.

Georges Dumézil emphasizes and makes explicit the tripartite character of Indo-European theology: Sovereignty-Sovereignty-Force-Fertility.

He complied all the documents - stories and legends - that retrace the original life of the Nordic peoples, the Aesir and the Vanes. He studied how, through war and peace, the union between these two peoples came about, and this with regard to the three principles mentioned above.

But Georges Dumézil - no doubt a victim of his Latinity - commits, in our opinion, an error of appreciation.

By placing the notions of strength and fruitfulness in the same single group, he excessively individualizes the notion of sovereignty. It loses sight of the fact that the dialectical dynamic of action is based on the union of any two of these principles and, as a result, the opposition of the group thus formed to the third principle.

In the present case, the union that has taken place between the Aesirs-many men and warriors, but also, and much more fundamentally, priests (i.e., spiritual community, the higher principle of transcendence) and the Vanes (farmers, the principle of fecundity) is the union of Sovereignty and Fertility - a union opposed to Force. There is not - as Dumézil tends to believe - Force and Sovereignty on one side and Fertility on the other. There is no hierarchy: all three are on the same level.

The same error of judgement can be found in Eastern European culture, which pits abstract, claustrophobic and isolated sovereignty against fertility and strength.

It should be noted that among the Germans, Sovereignty and Fertility are grouped together in a whole that leaves Force alone, available and linked to nothing.

It is possible that the diversity of European cultures (a diversity that has developed mainly from differences in conceptual representations) is to be deplored. However, we should not exclude any element - not even the Germans - from this variety that makes up Europe. This is what Dumézil did when, instead of considering Force, Fertility and Sovereignty on the same level, he introduced - at the end of the hierarchy - his scale of values.

Let us posit the Force as a destructive energy.

Depending on whether its manifestations are linked to Sovereignty or Fertility, its nature changes. It will find exculpation in Morality, a motive in Sociology.

It is Vandalism, both in its philosophical reality and in its concrete existence, that remains the heart of the problem.

It seems to us possible to consider any cultural development as a progressive assimilation of uses. So initially, especially in schools: experimentation and adaptation. Let us note, in passing, that from the first Middle Ages on, the whole scholastic orientation is of Nordic inspiration.

The blossoming which the above-mentioned development tends to bring about will be complete only if one refrains from denying the value of a capital heritage: that of habits, ages, customs and usages.

This is an act of false freedom, and any denial or negation of these has inevitably had disastrous consequences. The Latin cultures, now detached from life, are the fearsome warning to us.

The Nordic ethics-and, equally, the legal principles which are, socially speaking, its translation and equivalence-is based both on freedom of trial and experimentation and on the faculty of judgement. Conclusions and judgements are drawn from all these attempts and pragmatic conduct. These, subject to open discussion and statistical criteria, make it possible to define an element of a standard.

This is a parliamentarism that overlaps with the principles of the Ting.

Choosing a particular element of the norm in a different way from that described above means mathematically substituting the variable for the norm. It is to create chaos, to opt for a confused profusion; and it is still to introduce pathology into physiology.

But isn’t it the same with Experimental Art?

Experimental Art, Modern Art? Can we really doubt that there are two different realities, opposable one to the other? it is absolutely sure!

For each of them, fertility is the golden rule. It is the law. As if it had become an absolute guarantee of its value, and the guarantee of their reality.

Hence the multiplicity and prodigality of inventions, which - beyond the reach of the usual criteria - escape all value judgements.

The result is that modern aesthetic specialists in the U.S.A. suffer from neurotic and long-lasting headaches.

However, the willingness to give absolute primacy to standardized methods - this option of the Nordic mentality - also has its weaknesses. The Nordic mentality somehow makes itself a prisoner of its own will.

It makes it impossible to value the unexpected, the new, the extraordinary. In these, it is forced to see a direct attack on its sovereignty. For, let us recall, sovereignty is rigorously linked to the past, to fidelity to the past. It is therefore incapable of deciding when the “unseen” is of a disastrous nature, and when it is of a salutary nature. Anything new seems pathological to it. All artists whose own activity goes beyond the rules obviously suffer from it.

Georges Dumézil rightly pointed out that there is hardly a theme in Scandinavian mythology that has not been taken up and continued by the Christian Middle Ages.


Among other examples, he cites the theme of the “Evil Dupe”: the devil’s mediation in the building of churches and the trickery of which the devil, his work accomplished, is a victim. Thus the story of Gylfaginning: under the appearance of a master craftsman, a giant proposed to the Aesir and undertook the construction of a castle - it being understood that this would be done in the time of a winter, with the help of his only horse - and that the salary of his work would be, besides the sun and the moon, the beautiful Goddess Freyja - ordinary object of covetousness of the giants.

The giant’s horse having tirelessly brought every night the necessary stones for this construction, the Aesir decided - three days before the summer - to frustrate the craftsman with his salary; they delegated for this purpose their god Loki who, by subterfuge, took the form of a mare and diverted the horse from his work. In spite of this, the master craftsman let out his anger - the anger of a giant. The Aesir considered themselves freed from their engagement and called their god Thor, who with his hammer Mjöllnir broke the giant’s skull and thus sent him into the “Niflhel”, the “hell of the mists”.

Dumézil criticizes northern archaeologists for classifying myths according to an exaggeratedly chronological method and order, but his classification - based on hierarchical value judgements - does not seem to me to be much more advantageous. For, in Scandinavian countries, the different myths are superimposed, in different colours, but in a whole where the central themes reappear permanently.

It should be known that the assimilation of the conquering Streitaxvölker peoples, the “battle-axe”, was at the origin of the conflict between Aesir and Vanes, and, as a second consequence, the halt, in Scandinavia, of all stone construction - that, until the Romanesque period, in the 11th century.

By creating a centralization of savings, the material localization of wealth in urban centers and especially in churches broke, in our opinion, the original power of the farmers.

Products of art and civilization, the objects locked up in churches and tombs were removed from the customary circuit of consumption. A problem arose, a sort of agrarian problem, of putting these values back into play. Graffiti is an example of an attempt to resolve it. They demonstrate and express opposition to this systematized saving, which was, in fact, a halt to production and consumption and a hindrance to civilization.

Where and when should works of art be protected, and against whom?

The civilizing, social and political activity - in the form of the creation of states, the drafting of laws, the building of cities, was regarded with horror by the Scandinavian peasant-warriors, as a giant’s work - of jaete. This affectivity prevented them from developing a civilization in which the city would have played its role.

These jaetes were poorly rewarded: ‘Having become Christians and Catholics, they erected a Church of builders whose power was so great that for a long time it was able to forbid the entry of Copenhagen to the very king of Denmark at any time. But these jaetes were finally completely excluded from Nordic social life.

It is necessary to know the harmful importance of the spirit of opposition to the union of the Aesir and the Vanes and to know that their difficulties were caused above all by the spirit of city life and civility.

The word “Vane” expresses both habit and dwelling, worship and home (all.: gewohnheit-wohnung). It thus designates an element of stability in two different forms in Time by tradition and in Space by place. All that this word manifests of a desire for permanence, conservation and maintenance is categorically opposed to “play”, to changing customs, to fashion. This desire for permanence and this concern for stability - forged over the centuries in the depths of the Nordic soul - cannot be changed.

Criticizing Nordic art, Benedetto Croce asserts (in an easy pastiche of Buffon’s famous sentence: “Style is the man”) that “style is not the woman”. False subtlety of a typically and fiercely Latin spirit, which we do not see at all that it really calls into question Nordic art. Let us leave aside Socrates quoted by P.M. Mollet (“Only boys are interested in style, adult men are no longer interested in it”) and let us only remember that Croce’s statement tends to establish that Nordic expressionism is feminine because its spontaneity is a negation of style. Femininity and spontaneity: here we are with Croce in full Latinity! Fashion is women, not men.

Undaunted by style, Nordic artists have created an Experimental Art that the Cobra formula illustrates quite well. Modern Art is opposed to this no less free than liberated art. Capital antagonism. The title of Paolo Marinotti’s study on the programme of Palazzo Grassi in Venice seems to us to indicate - and in a central way - where the heart of the problem lies in Art today.

How to decide the place of Norman graffiti in the chronology of European development? Analytical methods due to Latin training seem to us to be very helpful in this respect. However, the problem remains, since it is above all a question of accounting for and explaining the significant power of these graffiti. The difficulty remains in understanding how and why they appear to us to be highly significant of a reality that concerns us intimately.

To try to date these graffiti with great precision is, we believe, to disperse our forces, and above all to distract our attention from their high significance value. Which obviously escapes all temporality. Let’s not doubt that an enhancement of these graffiti, which would really depend on their real importance, is critical - and in a convincing way - of the traditional structuring of the History of Art. Bringing these graffiti into the History of Art, perhaps adds to the already great confusion in which it is currently being debated. The risk is great but we must take it: it is the chance of renewal.

The value of a Culture and its possibilities for progress depend essentially on the capacity to absorb new data and to integrate these elements into a series of systematizing structures. These elements tend to eliminate the systematizing structure itself, both as an obstacle to its capacity to absorb and integrate, and as a limitation of that capacity. Hence the importance of spontaneous reactions and over-radicalized tendencies generated by these new elements. In this sense, the desire for “ultra-modernity” on the part of some reactionaries goes beyond the real possibilities of evolution. No less dangerous appears to us the utopian optimism of some progressives in whose eyes no frontiers exist. And it is often in good faith that many of them, engaged in a zone of antagonistic and contrary culture, bring with the support of their progressivism a moral guarantee to the adversary himself.

Editions E. Einaudi - progressive among all Italian publishing houses - has just published a remarkable work, already considered a classic, by Gabriel Pepe: “Il Medio Evo Barbarico d’Italia” (The Medieval Evo Barbaric of Italy).

With a naive bias, the author explains that the Germanic and Latin cultures are respectively derived from concepts: negative for the former, positive and ideal for the latter. Should we take this elementary specification seriously (in which an art critic like Pierre Restany also participates) and formalize in its casualness that we Scandinavians would have little choice but to destroy everything that we have in our country that testifies to free progress or to decide that no mea culpa is incumbent on us and, in a completely different frame of mind, deliberately go to war. Determination and initiative to which the Scandinavians have hitherto refused to give themselves, because they consider it the duty of every culture, society, man or nation to keep its own antagonisms to itself and to avoid projecting disturbing distortions on anyone. If the Latins would make the effort to arrive at a more precise awareness of the limits of their principles and truths, all would be at an advantage, and we personally would have the secret joy of having contributed something to this: an immense pride… and no doubt a greater desire to deepen fruitfully the real virtue of these principles and truths.

Books and Literature, as vehicles and means of communication, carry and transmit stupidity as well as intelligence, ignominy as well as moral greatness, lies as well as truth. Apart from any idea of value, they are the very use of human freedom.

Examined from a critical perspective that seeks to encompass and assimilate the shattering phenomena of our times (the fundamental problem of the antagonisms raised by Lupasco), the positions taken by Pepe in “The History of the Barbarians in Italy”, or even by Christopher Dawson and Edouard Salin, seem to us not only inoperative, naive and dubious, but also and above all outdated and of an obsolescence that does not even belong to the folklore of the mind or to the catalogue of its amusing finds.

Undoubtedly, the likelihood that spirits from different sides of the spectrum will nourish a need for mutual understanding is slim. Even less likely is the likelihood that such a stream of understanding will flourish between them before blind hostility and ruthless intransigence win them over to each other. These probabilities, which a rational and scrupulous examination reveals to be slight, are however priceless to our hearts; they are one of the points at which our irreducible hope wants to defeat fate.

Although I do not think that Scandinavian methods are likely to arouse interest in France and meet with a large audience there, I have nevertheless chosen and decided to allow them to put forward their attempt to interpret Norman graffiti.

Mr. K.E. Lögstrup, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Aarhus, writes in “Kunst og Etik”: “Until now, the positions of philosophical problems have never been so far apart, so completely indifferent to each other, as well as today between philosophy in the Anglo-Saxon world (including Scandinavia) and the philosophy of the continent”.

This distressing state of affairs described by Professor Lögstrup has caused me deep concern, which has grown since the end of the war, and has made me so desperate that it is with real relief and real joy that I have finally seen France refuse to commit itself to a united Europe and thus safeguard, for the good of all, the values proper to the ‘continent’. It is obvious that the great diversity of opinions between Nordic and Latin minds - especially French ones - is bound to superbly manifest itself and appear in a problem as singular as that of Norman graffiti. These French positions on this problem are represented to a lesser extent than I wished. However, I believe that the attitude of M. de Bouard, of the University of Caen, given the great clarity of his presentation, will allow the reader to get an idea of the differences in perspective between the French and Nordic interpretations. These complementary thoughts could help each other on many issues, because a certain narcissistic and proud drunkenness of Nordic philosophical thought wonderfully balances out certain sadly Cartesian misunderstandings of French philosophical thought. This is a further example of the services that the idea of a desired and accepted complementarity can render.

In “L’Avant-garde Culturelle Parisienne depuis 1945” (Editions Guy Le Prat), Robert Estival doubts the interest of this notion of complementarity in well formulated and apparently logical remarks: “The feeling of sincerity, of love of truth, in art as in science, is introduced into the general dualism of human consciousness, subject-object, and applies to one or the other of these elements. For there seems to be exclusivity at some point. It is either sincerity towards the “I” or sincerity towards the Object, the Work. Everything even seems to happen as if sincerity for one leads to a total or partial artificialization, as the case may be, of the other. »

Rather than trying to really take sides within the dualism that the above statements highlight, we believe that we should prefer another freedom: that of choice according to the opportunity offered by one or the other of these two positions. Since the event we are faced with is the only one that has the force of law for us, we refuse to be the prisoner of any antagonism.

It would be an exaggeration to claim that we have gone too far in interpreting the signs reproduced in this book. However, one thing is certain: according to what Glob thinks, these signs do not predate the erection of the church stones on which they were engraved, the stones having been cut according to their place.

Likewise, in most cases, it is excluded that these graffiti are notes or sketches of builders or builders, because they date from different periods and have been redrawn several times.

Our intention is to publish in a future volume the many drawings left by the builders of the Norwegian wooden churches (the collection of these drawings has been gathered by Dr. Blindheim at the University Museum in Oslo). These signs of builders engraved on wood are very different from those left by the native population of Normandy. Only the Norwegian signs carved by the indigenous population, such as those of Nidaras in Trondhjem, show similarities with their Norman counterparts.

Still with regard to the origin of the Norman signs, we do not believe that we should assume that they were executed by transients, gypsies or soldiers.

In the end, we retain only the hypothesis that the natives were the sole perpetrators. One may wonder about the design pursued by the perpetrators. The study of the links that these signs have with the local saints only gives a partial idea of this. The writings of P. Saintyves are indeed a fundamental part of the dossier. Moreover, the theory of the ex-voto proves to be a very insufficient answer to the problem. Having completed all our examinations, we are inclined to think that the motives of these engravers are of two kinds. In fact, these signs seem to us to have two different orders of meaning: firstly, they are elements of conjuration, invocation, appeal, etc., which relate to exceptional events which do not concern daily life (natural scourges, for example); secondly, they tell the story of the daily routine and are intended to protect and enrich it, and they concern only a regular and cyclical development. There is no doubt that the latter kind of magic refers in a characteristic way to agrarian life.

After Olus Magnus, I have tried to draw attention to the importance of the expression of agrarian life in my book: “The Golden Horns and the Wheel of Fortune” (especially in the chapter “The Rune Staff and the Working Calendar”), There is in the Latin countries a certain lack of interest in the “deepest agrarian revolution that ever affected humanity” (The Neolithic Civilizations of France” by G. G. Bailloud and Migue de Boofzheim) and for concepts relating to art, a lack of interest that seems to us incompatible with this certain notion of the ideality of civilization professed there. Of all the problems raised by Norman graffiti, the most important can be formulated in this question: are these graffiti, as works of art, more important than the acts that gave rise to them? And if so, is their value the work of art itself or the symbol? It seems that the superimposition of the images found makes it possible to exclude the possibility that they were made with the aim of making a work of art in the classical sense of this notion.

In view of the Nordic taste for versatile interpretations, we prefer to refrain from any attempt or attempt to find a more complex symbolism, an undertaking which would be highly likely to be vain and hazardous. Well-known images, such as those in the form of “husdrapa”, give rise to countless interpretations that are as poetic as they are fanciful. In “titoli” form, they unleash an avalanche of comments in Italy.

It remains to be seen, therefore, how these graffiti are similar in their authors’ motives to what the Americans have claimed to achieve through their “action painting”: the importance given to gesture and execution.

This creation of graffiti, often due to a regular repetition of identical gestures, indicates that this is indeed a ritual.

Unlike in Scandinavia and England, where this ritual is religious in nature (as is evidenced by a number of images on the walls of religious buildings, particularly one of a bishop engraving such a sign), the tradition of Norman signs has been perpetuated in secret and is pagan.

Dr Blindheim’s studies and ours are far from dispelling the mystery of the Norman signs.

Further study of these reports would require research both in Europe and North Africa, so we invite those who are interested in these matters to give us all the information in their possession and to participate in our research.

The interpretations of Glob and Giessling have aroused opposition from the Latins, which unfortunately it is difficult to imagine that it can be reduced. However, I am pleased to have presented the texts of Glob and Giessling - the irreducible hope that leads us to deny and to consider as null and void predictions that are too cleverly and rationally established and that are often right. So I have a bit of the same good conscience that Heine had when he addressed the French: “I have only good intentions for you, so I will tell you bitter truths. You have more to fear from a liberated Germany than from the entire Holy Alliance, including the Croats and the Cossacks. First of all, they do not like you in Germany, which is almost incomprehensible, because you are very kind … What exactly they reproach you for, I’ve never been able to find out. One day, in a tavern in Gôttingue, a young Teutomaniac declared that it was necessary to avenge in the blood of the French the torment of Konradin de Hofenstaufen, whom you beheaded in Naples in 1268. You have certainly forgotten this long ago; but we do not forget anything. You can see that when we feel like fighting with you, we will not lack good reasons. »

The Scandinavians, unlike the Germans, do not have to deal with the French reality; so it is posed to them in another way. Precisely, our love of France and of the French is nourished, enriched and blossomed by qualities that are profoundly different from ours, and your faults, which are also different, are counted for nothing. So for a Scandinavian, being in Paris means living with a certain sense of liberation, no longer feeling the weight of our traditional chains. To those who dream of a new Europe built in the image of the Holy Roman Empire, we must recall another European version whose importance has been confirmed by history: medieval Europe.

There is no doubt that the future of Europe lies in a greater communication of minds, and that the material conquest of these means alone is insufficient. Mutual ignorance is no longer even a crime: it is only a mistake. The false personalisation of responsibilities ultimately engages the responsibility of each of us for reasons of anonymity.

French criticism quickly reaches its limits; it is constantly being sent back to its weakness by its inability to go beyond the narrow confines of the present - criticism that is almost instantaneous and without memory. On the contrary, the Nordic spirit never carries out any critical examination without going back very far into the past in search of information, and so criticism in the North is very fraught with consequences: a real indictment.

French criticism always deliberately finds its limits, but northern criticism never does. Today we believe that there would be a great advantage in harmonizing these various methods of criticism and getting used to their simultaneous use.

To consume is to happen.

The most important antagonism in economic structures seems to be the problem of causality in the relationship between production and consumption: do we create in order to consume or do we consume in order to create? Which of these two activities is a function of the other? And once this mystery is cleared up, will we know more about the authority behind the administrative power, and even more about who is responsible for it?

We have already indicated that the events of economic reality are ordered in very different series according to the three areas of European culture in which they occur.

For the Nordic minds, the very importance of the link they establish between the past and the present distracts them from any event or manifestation that is purely topical. They would, by way of exception, want to focus their attention on such an event that they could not help but draw to it whatever they saw as being part of it in the past - it being understood that the more distant past will also be called upon to provide information.

Traditionally we see destruction and death, the end, as a passage to the past. The difficulty with this attitude is that it cannot be said that every complete process, in any matter, always presents itself as a destruction of the given conditions. Moreover, there can be destruction without benefit to higher creativity. The right of destruction is thus a sign of superiority. By denying the peoples of the great migration the justification for their destruction, one remains attached to the old hierarchical structure of the Roman Empire, a system already in the throes of collapse.


Seen from the outside, each consumption looks like destruction. In the contemporary economy, the instability of the production-consumption balance is only apparent. This is a false notion that masks both the importance and the volume of production and consumption.

In reality, the considerable increase in the means of the former on the one hand, and in the needs of the latter on the other, tends to create an absolute correspondence and equivalence between the two.

We are moving towards the perfect.

Among the data on the basis of which production “thinks its products” is the conviction that consumption is essentially destructive in nature. No creation of objects is undertaken without the addition of elements that will precipitate their consumption. As destructive factors, they accelerate their disappearance.

From now on, the life of the manufactured product is voluntarily shortened from the outset. It is no longer durable but ephemeral. Its consumption is no longer deferred but immediate. Solid and stable products have ceased to be desired and the Americans have even created an expression which designates these products guaranteed without duration.

In view of this situation, it seems to us that vandalism is simply consumption like any other.

At the same time, some economists consider war and war economy as a gigantic consumption. Essayists and philosophers assure us that production necessarily gives rise, in the more or less long term, to a war economy.


Only triolectic analysis can dispel the confusion created by effects that have been ignored until now. Hence the importance of the means of detecting fundamental complementarities. How can they be detected? We will take as irrefutable proof of the existence of the complementarity of two cultures the fact that in one of them Reaction uses - with the intention of slowing down progress - the progressive ideas of the other. We in Europe today are witnesses to such a situation. We need only look north, south and east.

Geographically, the geometric layout of the capitals of the Latin countries reflects a median, symmetrical and central composition. All roads lead to Rome. Or to Paris. Or to Brasilia.

Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, London, New York: all border cities that are truly turned towards the unknown and open to foreign countries.

Like pre-war Vienna, Berlin bore the traces of the character of the old Roman-Christian Empire invented by Charlemagne. It was a constant feature of post-war American policy to exploit Berlin’s character as a border city. The agreement with Russia will obviously shift this game to Jerusalem - the border city of the “Christian nation”. The conflict between Abelard and Bernard is once again topical, but this time the answers are known in advance. The fascination is no longer there except for the fools.

At the basis of every system, or social organization, there are always three complementary elements: production, administration and consumption. The Latin, Germanic and Russo-Byzantine systems differ in the way in which they apply these elements: the Latin system seems to us to be characterized firstly by the virtualization of administration and secondly by the actualization of the variable unit production-consumption; Germanic by the virtualization of consumption on the one hand, and on the other by the actualization of a fusion between production and administration. Finally, the Russo-Byzantine system based on the virtualization of production and the updated merger between administration and consumption.

We have previously noted the existence of a parallelism that appears consumption to be a destruction. In the Germans - and in them alone - the desire for purity permeates and animates the act of consuming to such an extent that it makes their system of consumption a unique system. On the other hand, the Latin principles of consumption allow, authorize and promote a freedom of play, and this without further restricting this same freedom of play in production. But in the Latin framework, the freedom of consumption - or destruction - never becomes total and always remains below the Nordic “barbaric point”.

These different systems, which are responsible for different “situational settings,” have led the situationist movement to recognize and admit the diversity of these methods. It is because this movement has been willing to critically examine the different natures of these methods that it has been able to maintain its homogeneity. In the first post-war years, opposition to the classical concept of art manifested itself in two ways: some were in favor of the creation of a new kind of art that would represent an opposite dimension to classical art; others decided even more radically to deny the value of art in any field with an anti-artistic attitude. In Latin culture, the opposition to art and its marginalization has certainly never been total - this opposition being above all rhetorical. But it must be emphasized that this opposition based on rhetoric, and which therefore excludes any personally experienced attitude and sincerity, is of a terribly more radical nature than all other oppositions. In Paris, for example, the modern trend has brought about a situation that tends towards complete emptiness - this in the avowed aim of taking away all possible freedom and fulfilment from art, and in the secret project of transforming it into a means, into an instrument. This movement, which is deeply representative of the Nordic existential attitude on the artistic level, would gain in originality and authority if the thoughts of the various minds which, in their various capacities - philosophers, poets or thinkers - were better known, and if the public knew better how these various thoughts are articulated. Thus, behind Kierkegaard there is a Poul Martin Möller, a little like the genius of Socrates behind Plato’s system. Let us say in passing that there is no reason to believe that Socrates - originally a sculptor - would have consented to this exclusion of the free arts later professed by Plato. Sartre made the gross error of considering Kierkegaard’s scholastic system as humanism. Shortly before his death, Poul Martin Môller wrote a poem entitled “L’artiste entre les révoltés”. This poem tells how, in 1830, in Paris, a group of rebels broke into an artist’s studio in order to destroy his work and how the attacked artist reacted vigorously with a violent counter-attack. I must have been deeply impressed by this poem, which had its author classified as “politically reactionary”. A poem remarkable for its great beauty, it is also remarkable for its political character: half a century after the imaginary confrontation that is its subject, a similar conflict, but real this time, breaks out within the Paris Commune. Prophetically again, this poem seems to have brought to light contradictions which today have become the internal contradictions of the SI, because Debord and all its supporters questioned the unity of this movement. The anecdote of the arsonists who came to destroy Notre-Dame in the last days of the Commune and clashed with a battalion of armed artists “constitutes a good example of direct democracy” and allows us to understand the ambivalence of any a priori conservative protection: against these men who wanted to gain access to expression by translating their total challenge to a society of oppressors into a destructive demonstration, was the unanimous group of artists right to defend Notre-Dame in the name of permanent aesthetic values? And finally, in the name of the spirit of the Museums?

Politically partisans of the Commune, “these artists acting as specialists found themselves in conflict with an extremist manifestation of the fight against alienation. “(Debord,). In the dustbin of history.

What happens when one of the protagonists disappears at the end of a fight? And especially when one of the three elements is annihilated when he is alone against a group of two others? A schism immediately arises between the two parties whose union against the common adversary previously formed an actualized antagonism. Depolarization polarizes the former allies. A struggle begins for the possession of the goods now available to the disappeared. The appropriation of these goods will trigger a process of identification with the former adversary in the future possessor, a new union that represents a possibility of actualization. Every war and every state of combat aims at annihilating an adversary who is less real than virtualized, so that the disappearance of the latter somehow actualizes his reality, to the point that at the end of a combat one sometimes has the paradoxical impression that the loser is the winner. It is obviously clear that without the will of each of the two surviving protagonists to become the owner of the property of the disappeared, no fight would take place between them.

It is certain that Debord reveals his mentality and his political-Latin training by considering artists as pure specialists and, finally, as mere instrumental means.* History shows that artists have constantly fought against the apriorism of this identification; their participation in all the great revolutionary currents is proof of this, and this utilitarian attitude towards art has always been considered by them as a form of oppression and an attack on their freedom. This oppression was adopted, officialized and legalized in 787 by the Council of Nicaea.

In approving the action of the arsonists against the armed artists (1), Debord slipped into the trap door that Estivals had prepared. For years, he has been saying that the affinity between Debord and me is “pure practical trickery with no basis in common ideas. Unfortunately, Debord’s acquiescence in incendiary vandalism, in this case where socialism and barbarism are at odds, is on the side of the barbarians. For - let us ask ourselves - by what means did these artists intend to destroy the arsonists? Quite simply by resorting to teutonic acts…

Wanting to judge, in a society where the military reality is all-powerful, or at least the barbarity of conduct and behaviour, is a vain and doomed project. The acceptance of vandalism leads, ipso facto, to consent to Teutonism. That Debord - committed as he is now - can return to the conventional and agreed positions which are, in fact, those of the Parisian avant-garde, seems to us neither desirable nor possible.

The concept of situation - this all-purpose concept of existentialist thought, this false sesame of an outdated and bastard philosophy - did not take J.-P. Sartre very far. The vitality of situationism makes this Franco-German existentialism, which is comfortably based on a set of old propositions - precisely on the Danish existentialism of the last century - seem moribund. This French sucker for existentialism, therefore, has not imprisoned Debord. However, one becomes the amused witnesses of this paradoxical spectacle: on the one hand Sartre, who was initially concerned with writing for future generations, was gradually pushed back to the contemporary and drowned in an overabundant actuality; on the other hand Debord, interested only in actuality, finds himself condemned to build a distant future, and this in view of a posthumous glory which, in fact, indifferent to him…

The Latin spirit and character are easily accommodated - naturally - to the existentialist “living the present”. The pure instant is for them an obvious banality, an immediate reality, whereas for Nordic thought and temperament - let us say for Kierkegaard - the pure instant is a crazy dream and a vain hope.

The fear that Cobra’s activity might lead to a one-sided Nordicism made me seek the collaboration of a man whom I thought could be the ideal successor to André Breton as a fertile promoter of new ideas. I appointed Debord, and nothing since then has changed my mind about him.


In his study on the origin of the family, Friedrich Engels deepens Marxist thought on the factors of human progress. This “progress” seems to him to pass through three phases: the wild stage - which is that of pure consumption and corresponds to the non-productivity of the hunters; the barbarian stage - characterized by production oriented towards consumption; the civilized stage - which produces in order to produce, without any consumption, is linked to the appearance of slavery. The slave was a producer who was denied any right to consumption. In underhanded and underhand forms, Western society has created a subjugation and enslavement that is not unrelated to former slavery.

All the false judgements, errors and chimerical ideas concerning the notion of progress are mercilessly brought to light by the triolectic system. It is impossible to create a valid opposition to barbarism without seeing savagery and slavery as one and the same thing - which is, at the end of the day, civilization. Civilization is the savagery that is justified by the moral obligation to maintain slavery. Material consequence and social reality: production that does not give rise to consumption. Isolating the producer, freeing the slave: this is what it really means to face up to barbarism, to savagery. This is the programme and the aims of Socialism - a tendency that manifests the intention to “make peace” with the Savage, in order to recover for him the force that animates him in the form of destructive power. Socialism thus returns, without glory, to the old opposition between civilization and barbarism. It tries to bring production and administration closer together and refuses to see that this alliance is nothing more than a new antagonism. It is an inexorable process that makes hell for everyone, and from which the Situationist International alone is free.

We now know that every revolution - as an expression of the will for social progress - generates a superior social life, but introduces into that same life a greater uniformity, in the guise of stability, and ruthlessly restricts the freedom of each person. The situationist tendency must aim at regaining the right to human free play, a play which F. Entfremdung is constantly reducing.

The graffiti - be they Norman, Parisian or other - are evidence of this desire to be present, and of an opposition to the sacrosanct technique. A tendency such as the situationist movement risks appearing counter-revolutionary. In reality, such a tendency makes it possible to clearly see the error committed by the engineer Sorel, who studied the revolutionary movements of our century according to his clean slate system. At the beginning of the last century, Poul Martin Möller had already sensed the possibility of error in the following apophtegmus: a revolutionary movement is only of value at the stage preceding its practical realization. Formulation that can be carried out otherwise, and give rise to images that borrow from a mechanistic reality. Thus, it can be understood that it is exclusively during a fall that energies are released, both new and available; that after the fall follows a new stage in which the energies become more blocked than before. Thus even the trio-lectic system is both a springboard and a brake: it releases energies and then blocks them. Poul Martin Möller has already explained this: “A new idea is only of value when it penetrates the mass. Once it is generally accepted, it is devalued. “It is therefore obvious that the day when the symbolic oppositions that geographically divide Europe into North and South disappear, the exceptional sources of admirable energy will also disappear.

It is not only a duty, it is a right to demand that this energy should not be wasted in vain fighting, but that it should instead be used for general enrichment.

Of all the stories of the Germans, that of Friedrich Engels seems to me to be the most intelligent and impartial.

He gives an excellent answer to the question: “What was the mysterious spell with which the Germans breathed new life into the dying Europe”, but he does not fully explain why the mere appearance of barbarity in a civilization was enough to create new sociological foundations - superior and forever irreducible.

Engels tells us that: “The Germans were barbarians, in that they did not succeed in establishing total slavery as the labour slavery of antiquity and the domestic slavery of the East did. “In the depths of the psyche there is no difference between rights and duties. The concept of property, the “fruit of personal labour”, which is the subject of this paper, is therefore no longer valid.

Engels continues: “Civilization creates a class that is no longer concerned with production (or consumption), but only with the exchange of goods: the merchants. “Engels does not seem to realize that once liberated from the merchant class in which it originated, this activity forged the structures of the state. Engels is therefore light-hearted in stating: “The Gentile organization ceased to exist and was replaced by the state” and “the state inevitably falls with the division of society into classes, relegated to the Museum of Antiquities, next to the bronze spinning wheel and axe”. It is to be expected that the spinning wheel and the axe will in this case always remain indispensable instruments.

“Marital union is the cell-form of civilized society. It marks a great historical progress; however, with it begins an era in which every progress is also - at the same time - a relative step backwards. “Engels tells of a time when physicists discovered the law of constant energy. A law which is without weight in the socialist world, because in the eyes of Marxists - and of Lassalle - “The united force is greater than the sum of the combined forces. “We are in the miraculous…

Engels wondered how it could have happened that the Roman family, with a more primitive organization than that of the people (people-family), could have marked a progress in relation to it. And also the barbaric people of the Germans compared to the Roman family. It seems that the deep reasons for this evolutionary dynamism escaped Engels.

The barbarian people were not in any way erased. It was even so little erased that its original vigour gradually became, over the centuries, a real power; so that nowadays it is the only one that is opposed to the concept of the state. It is no longer called the people but the nation.

The identification of the past with the present, of origin with reality, of birth with contemporaneity, gives life to the reputedly noble concept of nation. If, however, in view of the important Germanic contribution to the building of medieval Europe, it is rightly denied any role in modern culture, we will be at risk of understanding nothing at all about the future of Europe. The future of Europe will remain dark.

It was through the Arianist church that the Europe of the people became the Europe of the nations. The important role played by this church in the development of Europe would be even more essential if we were to have all the information that a long period of deliberate obscurantism has taken away from us. The transformation of people into nations was greatly facilitated - if not entirely achieved - by the theologians who introduced into the baptism ceremony a ritual whose high power of meaning was a salutary shock to consciences. The Christian baptism ceremony symbolically determined a new epoch: the dawn of a rebirth.

The importance of this ceremony in Scandinavia is understandable, even before the advent of Christianity, and it is also understandable why the Scandinavians still show a manic interest in medieval baptismal fonts today. It would not be easy to explain the participation of the Nordic people in the crusades if they were denied any sense of religious belonging to the Christian nation.

France was the only European country not to be fooled by the national character of Christian expansion. In “The Birth of the Middle Ages,” L.B. Moss explains why: “In Gaul, Clovis set the seal on his work by organizing a national church that brought together the political advantages of Arianism and Catholicism. “The symmetry of the roles played by the State and the Nation was later to lead the French to become standard bearers of the idea of nationalism and then - without stumbling unduly on chauvinism - to enrich the world with a concept whose effects have not yet been fully felt: the concept of internationalism.

Thus the Christian nationalism of the Germanic peoples, defenseless against the Catholic “church-state”, found itself under the theocratic pressure of that formidable “church-state”, incapable of assuming the secular responsibilities of a theocracy. This theocratic pressure threw the last Nordic hopes into the fire, which disappeared in the smoke of the pyres where the Templars died. The pitiful glory returned to France, but the nation-state was created. In this new state, place was given to the family and to its chief majordomus, whom we would unfortunately come to know as the chancellor.

The woman in the North who took care of the house and was in charge of it, would see her importance grow enormously through this expansion of the family. We know the effects of this from the history of the Middle Ages: playing the church against the men, she herself later became a prisoner of the church. Things happened differently in Byzantium and the state prevailed. The Soviet republics are national and united in an all-powerful state. It is at least Stalin’s Russia, the Russia of his book on nationalities.

It is more than interesting - it is impressive - to compare with the creation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the genesis of a nation such as the United States, where the national idea takes an expansive, supra-state form.

It is necessary to get an idea of the nature of the complementarity existing between French internationalism, American nationalism and Russian statism, if one does not want to become the victim of chimeras and illusions as to the possibilities of general agreement.


The modern state has differentiated powers in three forms: legislative, legal and executive. It is through the union of two of these powers - the principle of antagonism tells us so - that the modern state acquires vitality and dynamism.

In the Latin world, the virtualisation is that of the judgment, while in the Nordic world it is that of the execution. I think it is necessary to insist on this: in the former, the fusion is between legislation and judgment, while in the latter, it is between legislation and enforcement. As it is understood that legislative activity is political, the dynamism of the Polis is here concretized. In the Nordic Ting, enforcement is unconditional and it is the judgment that takes on a political character. We can see, therefore, that the principle of the Ting, far from being, as is often claimed (especially in Germany), a “rudimentary Polis”, has its own dynamism, which is complementary to that of the Polis.

Better legal bases of political power have brought to the application of the Ting principle in the U.S.A. a purity that it does not have in Scandinavia. The execution of President Kennedy’s presumed murderer reveals covert political manoeuvres which are an attack on the very system of government which the United States adopted after the end of the civil war. Will the seriousness of this act ever be sanctioned?

The reluctance of those who are descendants of the former Northerners to take legal action on this matter proves the existence of a passionate complex of tendencies. This situation seems to us to bear a strange and significant similarity to one of the episodes in the struggle of the Germans against the Romans - the one reported by Engels -: the manoeuvre of Arminius to defeat Varus and thus put a definitive end to the Roman plans for the colonization of the Germanic countries. When the Romans found themselves confronted with acts, principles and methods that were radically foreign to them, they realised that they were powerless and abandoned their enterprise. In both cases, through violence and brutality, it was the same defeat of civilized values.

During the war there was a man in Holland who was so disgusted by the intensity of Danish and Norwegian curiosity about the invaders that he preferred to commit suicide. Had this man of honour known the story of Arminius, he might have been less shocked that nobody turned his back on the invaders and probably sensed that this attitude would make the Scandinavian resistance the most effective of the European organisations.

Arminius remained at Varus’ side as if he had been his friend, while at the same time he organized and set up the enormous enterprise which was to crush the Roman army. He might even have been able to drive the Romans out of Gaul, but he was no conqueror. It was William the Bastard who revealed this possibility.

The Romans’ tenacious and irreducible mistrust of the Germanic people dates from this time.

It seems, in these circumstances, that the Germanic people stuck to the precept: “One should only be honest with honest people”, the Ting rule. As to how the Romans judged this event, Engels tells us that “one believes to read French writers of the best chauvinist period, who empty the cup of their anger on the perjury of York and the betrayal of the Saxons in Leipzig. The Germans had learned enough about treaty fidelity and Roman loyalty when Caesar attacked the Usipetes and Tencterians by surprise during the negotiations and in the midst of the armistice; they had learned what they were when Augustus imprisoned the legates of the Sicambres, before whose arrival he refused to negotiate with the Germanic tribes. All conquering peoples have in common that they deceive their adversary in every possible way and find it quite regular; but as soon as the adversaries allow themselves the same thing, they cry out for perjury and treason. But as soon as opponents allow themselves to do the same, they cry out for perjury and treason. Now the means used to reduce to subjection must be just as lawful to throw off the yoke. »

Engels’ last consideration is undoubtedly correct. We must, however, note that the Germanic peoples have endeavoured to refine and make remarkably effective two techniques peculiar to them: those of disorganization of action and that of organization of protest action. In the latter they have acquired such a degree of efficiency that they have been called - not without reason - the Protestants.

It is necessary to know how important the Ting principle has become in American life and how much it permeates the spirit of the laws of this country. An obligation such as that placed upon every citizen appearing before judges to tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” is significant in this regard. We see the honest man of the Ting. On the contrary, he who refuses information and conceals it is dishonoured and excluded. Whether or not the information is of an intimate nature does not dispense with the obligation of absolute sincerity.

This practice is difficult to reconcile with the ideal of the Polis. On the contrary, the rhetoric of this ideal requires “telling everything but the truth”, as illustrated by the story of the young Spartan who, with his intestines torn open by a fox, would rather die than admit to being the author of a theft. Both methods have their advantages. But the American desire to use them together leads to disastrous dead ends.

In Northern Europe, acknowledgement of the facts was always made through vague and imprecise confessions. If the facts were very detailed, the narrative became ambiguous, obscure and nebulous to the point where no one understood it at all. This was the beginning of an anti-rhetoric that later permeated a certain literature. Exasperating literature for a purist with an eminently critical mind like Anatole France, who saw in it a challenge to the famous clarity that the French so much value.

The Germanic spirit seemed to be inclined to concealment, hypocrisy and lies. Strabo describes the Germans as “roués, a people made to lie”, and the Roman Velleius speaks of the Celts as follows: “Simple and without wickedness, they rush into battle before the eyes of all and without caution, so that their opponents have easy victory. »

But a critical sense, a taste for precision and a concern for accuracy often lead the French to a need for truth and a drunkenness that, in the end, is called cynicism. Frankness - etymologically “les Francs” - also presents odious certainties.

France is nevertheless the worthy successor of this ardent Gaul. It has for her a taste for political justice which makes her the best guarantor in the world of equality and truth.

Of the various contributions of the provinces to French vitality, the Norman factor was not the least important.

And in terms of art, Norman graffiti did not contribute little to illuminating the meaning of the image, the sign and the writing.

The appearance of the Soviets, or popular councils, was not foreseen in the Russian revolution, and yet it was the driving force behind it. Lenin did not see the old tradition of Slavic culture resurfacing here. He believed them to be a creative miracle of the people. Polis, Ting and Soviet, here are three complementary, irreducible and fundamental structures in European development. Like Aron, the psychologist C. G. Jung uses the spiritual structuring of the Polis to explain unconsciousness; Adler chose the Ting, and Freud the Soviet, without these structures being “political”. The illusion of a synthesis here on the classical basis, even if modernized, is excluded. A new method is needed. Can the triolectic be this method? We shall see.

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Asger Jorn