Marcel Lecomte (1900-1966) is one of the forgotten fathers of Belgian surrealism. While he would go on to publish several collections of poetry in his lifetime (and two more post-humously), Lecomte is best known as a journalist and critic, writing a large number of essays, art reviews, and political columns and pamphlets throughout his life. Born in Brussels, he was raised during the turbulence of the Great War and, as a student, witnessed the birth of the dada movement launched by Tristan Tzara. By the 1920s, surrealism, and its rejection of traditional modes of thought and forms of art, was reaching its apex. A young Lecomte followed suit publishing a poetry collection entitled Demonstrations in 1922.
Two years later, he would attempt to lead a sect of the movement, founding a group named Correspondence with Paul Nougé and Camille Goemans; the group would publish pamphlets critiquing art, literature, and politics. Although he was expelled from the group in 1925, that same year Lecomte would see the publication of his second book of poems, Applications, a work that showcased two drawings from his friend, artist René Magritte.
For the remaining forty years of his life, Lecomte would remain productive, dipping into a variety of projects and genres, but largely focusing on essays, which appeared in journals such as Le Rouge et the Noir, Synthèses, Le Journal des Poètes, and Le Journal des Ingénieurs, and writing for his weekly column in La Laterne.
For Further Reading:
A List of my Lecomte Translations can be found here.