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He would say “Never work!”

Raphaëlle Milone

Dachy Alive

Translated by Jordan Lee Schnee


Published: 11.07.2019

FR

While he was alive, I never called him Dachy—I called him Marc. We can’t help changing them: the dead. They require special treatment. I met him two months before my May 2014 suicide attempt. I was 22. A friend, C., introduced us. It had to be done. I was putting together the first issue of a magazine that I had decided to call OROR. The first thing I described to Dachy was how OROR is the bright side of Maldoror. I think I remember this comment making him clasp his hands together in front of him, like when an opera is about to end and you’re waiting to start clapping. A long while later, one morning I opened a large kraft paper envelope. This had become commonplace. I recognized my friend’s inimitable handwriting: archaic, cuneiform-like but written in pen, often green, or purple when he felt like it. Inside, three facsimiles. It was MERZ, Tzara’s magazine, which Dachy had reissued. When I read the credits for the reprinting, I burst out laughing: “1998 – Mouvement Art Libre (M.A.L.).” We were birds of a feather.

I interviewed Dachy for OROR in what he called “the villa,” an eight-square-meter office on the top floor of a building at the corner of Rue Campagne Première and Montparnasse Boulevard. I wanted him to discuss what had been his magazine, Luna Park, as well as his other work on Dada. In the middle of his office, with a window so large compared to the size of the room that it caused awful vertigo, beneath helical columns of papers, messy piles of books were jammed against the ceiling all around us. Dachy’s rare, precious, strange books.

During the interview (1. OROR Zine #1; video at oror-fanzine.net) (I don’t know if we took any drugs, but it felt like we had), he talked first about how when he was twenty, freshly plucked from his provincial home, he went to New York, hoping to catch Burroughs and interview him for the first issue of Luna Park. He met him after a reading. He showed me a photo of the two of them. Marc looks different; he’s very dark, very thin, but I recognize his jutting lower lip. Burroughs and Dachy, playing chess.

Then, for the next couple of hours, Dachy let loose a torrent of names—the organs, bones, and tissues of Luna Park’s history—taking me back to...

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