While visiting David Douard’s studio, I remembered a book about the lettrist, François Dufrêne. In particular, I recalled a passage in the introduction that mentions Cesare Lombroso’s theories on the concordance of modern poetry, mental alienation, and public disturbances. Sadly famous for his theory of degeneration and criminal heredity anatomically identifiable in traits, Lombroso was wary of avant-gardes. He was worried about the harms that modern poetry’s contagious character represented for late 19th-century society. The Turinese psychiatrist set out to analyze the phenomena of disassociation of words by comparing the brains of the insane and certain poets to a “factory that lacks its foremen while workers certainly manage to work, but in a such utter disorder and lack of coordination that the firm’s

Read More: David Douard’s first personal exhibition opens at Galerie Chantal Crousel in Paris