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PRINT November 1983

A NOTE CONCERNING FRANCIS PICABIA

THE INVENTOR AND ORIGINAL practitioner of Instantaneism is a rebel, a lone anarchist of the senses who is never quite recuperable. His life is one of first idealistic questioning, then virulent questioning, and ultimately precise questioning of the preceding moment, without a sideways glance to the following moment when he would want to give everything. He is the hypersensitive gambler, contradictory out of anxiety, brilliant in overcoming the anxiety, intelligent (“because the intelligent person must have only one speciality—namely. to be intelligent”). These days we say: of course, as a macho questioning himself, he has his inherent protective shield—anticlericalism as positive atheism, sarcasm as sublimated cynicism that is transformed into irony. In brief, he is a live fireworks of defensive energies that become constructive energies—a freestyle swimmer and freestyle wrestler of ideas

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