Café du Dôme

has 5 versions
• Index to In Transition
X Bibliographic Information

Café du Dôme

by Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven

Original Source

Encoded documents and images are derived from manuscripts in the Papers of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven in Special Collections at the University of Maryland, College Park, Libraries. In addition, individual pages or leaves of manuscripts are identified by the corresponding reel and frame numbers of the microfilm edition of the Freytag-Lorinhoven Papers.

Witness List

  • First: Reel 3, Frame 236
  • Second: Reel 3, Frames 237 and 238
  • Third: Reel 3, Frame 239
  • Fourth: Reel 5, Frame 208
  • Fifth: this version appeared in transition 7 (October 1927): 134. There is no image for this version.

Textual Notes

Drafts of this poem occupy series 3, box 1, folder 28. The Fourth version is on the same page as a draft of "Ostentatious" and "Ancestry"; it occupies series 3, box 3, folder 17. The poem was written between 1923 and 1927. The fifth version was published alongside "Xray" in transition 7 (October 1927): 134.

Electronic Edition Information:

Responsibility Statement:
  • Text Encoding by Tanya Clement
  • Proofing and Additional Encoding by Tanya Clement
  • TIFF images scanned at 600 dpi from manuscript pages and JPEGS derived byTanya Clement
Publication Details:

Published by Tanya Clement.

Office of Digital Collections and Research (DCR), University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's poetry is printed here with the support of the University of Maryland Libraries. Permission to reproduce images of Freytag-Loringhoven's manuscripts has also been generously granted by the libraries.

This poem and manuscript drafts are available from this site for demonstration purposes only. Though the intellectual property of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven is in the public domain, all annotations and editorial commentary are copyrighted. They may not be reproduced without explicit permission from the copyright holder. For copyright information, please contact Tanya Clement.

Encoding Principles

DTD constructed from TEI P5 poetry base with tagsets for parallel segmentation, linking, figures, analysis, transcr, textcrit.

Line breaks have not been preserved in prose sections in order to facilitate parallel segmentation procedures.

X Critical Introduction

Critical Introduction

"Café du Dôme" was published alongside her poem "XRay" in transition 7 (October 1927): 134-135. Café du Dôme in Montparnasse, Paris was a favorite stopping place for Parisians and expatriates during the twenties. In the Baroness’s writings, it represents a site in Paris where all types of marginalized identities such as artists, writers, bisexuals and trans-sexuals could meet and greet alongside tourists and common Parisians. The Café encapsulates this network of personalities but so does Marcel Duchamp whose personality the Baroness gestures toward here with the opposing images of "Mike" (the common man), "marcelled" (the highly coiffed and pampered man), "Saint Kyk" (both elevated and denigrated) and "Garcon!" (the object of the poem but a boy mean to cater to her demands). Needless to say, the Baroness’s feelings towards Duchamp were conflicted. She both admired him for his innovative and experimental art and abhorred him for his widespread success, which brought him both recognition and monetary rewards: "MARCEL," she writes in an undated letter to Djuna Barnes, ‘IS PERMITTET

Alternate spelling: D
TO DO ART – WITHOUT HAVING POVERTY SQUEEZE HIS WIND PIPE –AND OTHERS – SO MANY - MANY!!!" (UMD 2.320). THESE THEMES ARE ALSO PREVALENT IN THE SHORT AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL PIECE THE BARONESS INCLUDES ON THE BACK OF VERSION 2 OF THE POEM IN WHICH SHE RECOUNTS AN INCIDENT WITH HER EX-HUSBAND "FELIX" (CANADIAN WRITER FELIX PAUL GROVE) WHERE HE REPRIMANDS HER FOR HER "SUNDAY" ATTITUDE OR FRIVOLOUSNESS AND HER DESIRE TO BUY "FURS AND HATS" (HER "FRIPPERY") WHILE SHE DESPISES HIM FOR HIS MANIKIN-LIKE WORK-ETHIC, HIS "POUNDING" AND "CLICK CLICK CLICK" ON THE TYPEWRITER. THE CAFÉ REPRESENTS THE DICHOTOMY ("UN PNEUMATIC CROSS") THE BARONESS PERCEIVED BETWEEN THE DECADENT OR ENRICHED LIFE AN ARTIST MUST EXPERIENCE IN ORDER TO PRODUCE HER ART ("IT IS ALWAYS SUNDAY -" THE NARRATOR SAYS TO FELIX, "IT MUST BE - HOW SHALL I LIVE") AND THE MONEY ONE MUST EARN IN ORDER TO AFFORD SUCH AMENITIES AND EXPERIENCES.

The Baroness mentions the Café in one other short prose piece that bears some relevancy both to the context in which the poem was published (alongside "Xray") and to the themes in the poem discussed above. This prose piece is written on the back of a pamphlet for a Man Ray exhibit called "Peintures de Kiki" which featured paintings of Alice Prin, Man Ray’s lover in the 1920s. The piece is written in two versions, the second of which I include here: "IT IS NICE HE GIRL- SHE MAN – WHENEVER I ENTER IN FAMOUS DOME TO WHOM HAPPENS- AS TO ME GIFTED WITH XRAY ORBS OF SORRY SORT CLAIRVOYANCE THROUGH HIS ATTIRE OBSERVING IT - THIS PHENOMENON HAPPENS THIS PHENOMENON: LIKE AS IN THOUGH MY FEAR OF UNEXPECTED DISCHARGE BY SUDDEN FIT OF DARRHEEA

Alternate spelling: DIARRHEA
-- HE UP PURSES HIS ARSHOLE BY FEARTHOUGHT OF HAVING TO UNPURSE HIS PURSE. IT IS THIS FERTILIZER OF OUR WORLD CONSTITUTION FLOURISHING PROGRESS HE IS LOATH TO PART EVEN TINIEST MORSEL WITH – THOUGH – WHEN I SEE HIM SITTING SO I GOT FOR FANCYFANCY FREE -- TO ALL SEEMING COMFORTABLY SIPPING HIS LITTLE DRINK – UNTIL HE CATCHES MY SIGHT—FREEZING PURSING UP IN THAT FREEZING RUSHING WAY SRRRRRRR – I – THOUGH WHEN I SEE HIM – TO ALL SEEMING SITTING FANCY FREE SIPPING HIS LITTLE DRINK UNTIL HE SRRR CATCHES MY SIGHT SRRR -- PURSING UP IN THATSUCK RUSHING HURRY – THAT I HEAR NOISE -- SEE STRING PULLED SIPPING HIS LITTLE DRINK --

XWitness
CAFÉ DU DOÔMÉ.E
CAFÉ DU DOMECAFÉ DU DOME.
FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE FOR TH' LUF O' MIKEFor the love of Mike-!
 
KNOCK ME FLAT
 
FOR THE LUF OF MIKE -
LOOK AT THAT Look at that-
MARCELLLED Marcelled-
BE - WHISKERED Be-whiskered-
BE - SPATTED Be-spatted-
PPatheitic??AATHETIC -
LLymphaticIYMPHATIC -
AestheticESTHETIC-
PIG-PINK Pigpink-
QUAINT Quaint -
FASHIONABLEFASHIONABLE NATTY Natty -
SAINT KYKSaintkyk-!
 
KYK!
 
          
 
FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE
GARCONGarçon-?? !
 
A RUBBER THISTLE
 
          
CROWN - AND UN UN PNEUMATIC CROSS WH- AVEC THISTLE AUTOMATIC SUCTIONDISKS -C'S Un pneumatic cross avec suctiondiscs topped avec thistle-tire . . . s'il vous pla??t.
TOPPED AVEC AVEC WITH RUBBER THISTLE WREATH WREATH -
S'IL VOUS PLAIT.
E.V.F.L
ONE DAY SHE CAME HOME - EXPENSIVELY FASHIONABLY EXPENSIVELY DRESSED IN FASHION AS HE LIKED IT TO SATISFY HIS PRIDE IN HIMSELF SHE POUDLY CORRESPONDING EVEN AS TO A CORSET AND HAIR TRANSFORMATION - FOR SHE HAD SCANT HAIR. THIS FRIPPERY WAS BEFORE THE WAR RELEASED WOMEN FROM MALE DESIRE
TIME ??
LEANING ON THE DOOR FRAME SHE SAID PALPITATING SET CRUEL WITH A WILL SNEERING - WITH PASSION - HOPEDRIVEN HE SAT ON THE HIS TYPEWRITER - HIS OTHER PRIDE FOR SHOWING HIS MIND - VOLUMN - CAPACITY FOR GAINING SO MUCH VAIN MONEY FOR STILE
Alternate spelling: STYLE
- POUNDING AWAY NOT EVEN LOOKING AT HIS THE MANIKIN - OF HIS EXPRESSION - ?? SHE SCORNFULL
Alternate spelling: SCORNFUL
NOTICED: "I SAW A MAN WITH EYES LIKE THE SUN - THAN SHE TREMBLED WOULD HE - JUMP - SEIZE HER - SHAKE HER - SHE YIELD - FLING HERSELF - LAUGH UPROAROUSLY - AT HER LOVER - LOVER - LOVER
WITH BEND HEAD FROM BENEATH LASHES FAIR AS BLEACHED FLATWHEAT STRAW FROM EYES MIST BLUE DISTANT & FACE - AS IMPENETRABLE MYSTERIOUS - EVER NOSTALGIA WAKING HE SLANTED ONE SLOW WITHINER LOOK AT HER AS A FINE STEELLANCET BY THE WILL TO STARPILORE FOR SAKE TOOF DRAWING BLOOD AND HURT HE SAID - POINTEDLY IT PROBABLY WAS AN ARTIST.
OH. BUT HE HAD EYES LIKE THE SUN.
HAD HE? COULDNT HE PAY YOUR FURS AND HATS -
OH FELIX. YOU DON'T EVEN LOOK AT ME - WHEN I CAME HOME - I WANTED TO TELL YOU THIS - TO - TO - MAKE YOU NOTICE -
I NOTICE - BUT YOU DON'T NOTICE - ME - ALL AT ITS TIME - I AM BUSY EARNING YOUR FRIPPERY - YOU NEVER COME DOWN TO TACKS - YO ALWAYS WANT SUNDAY
IT IS ALWAYS SUNDAY - IT MUST BE - HOW SHALL I LIVE - IT HAS BEEN - FELIX - BEFORE - REMEMBER - WHY NOT NOW -
FREE ME - WHAT SHALL I DO - NOW - HERE -
I HAVEN'T TIME - DO SOMETHING! - IN THE EVENING -I'LL SEE WHAT I'LL DO HE POUNDED AWAY - HAD POUNDED ALL THROUGH THIS CONVERATION
Alternate spelling: CONVERSATION
- - THEY BOOTH
Alternate spelling: BOTH
EXPERTLY WERE USED TO TALK TO THE CLIKC CLICK CLICK - SHE EVEN HAD REVELD
Alternate spelling: REVELED
IN THIS FACT - ENHANCING HIS UNCANNY MIND BALANCE SKILL - AS HE HAD PAINSTAKINGLY INSTRUCTED HER - TO
SHE STOOD AT A MUTE - DE AT A LOSS - DEFEATED AS SHE NEVER WAS QUICK IN ARGUMENT - WICH
Alternate spelling: WHICH
DISDAINFULL HE TOOK SUPERIOR MASCULINE ADVANTAGE OF BECAUSE IT MADE HIM LORD SIMULTANEOUSL AND HURT HIS PRIDE AS HER POSSESOR - BUT SHE WAS PERMEATED WITH DUMB REBELLION. IN HER SYSTEM - SHE KNEW HE WAS FLIPPING - AT A TERRIBLE LOSS HIMSELF - BRAIN ZZLING HER EVADING WITH SUPERIOR FLIPP - WHAT WAS THE MATTER - SHE CAME FOR GREAT SUNNY SACRIFICIAL LOVE - NOT FOR THIS PALTRY QUARREL - A MAN WINS QUARRELD
Alternate spelling: QUARRELED
- SMALL - TRIFLING HUGH! AND THIS MAN OF ALL MAN - SELF POSSESSED - COLD FIERCELY ICELY BRILLIANT - EVEN ?? HIS TALL STEELY SLENDER STATURE WITH SMALL SHINY HEAD LITHE
DETERMINED
FEATURES - HOW COULD HE BE SO DEVOTE A MALE
HIMSELF
COMMONTO SUCH UNSPEAKABLE EVERY DAY COMMONESS - WHEN SHE CAME WITH FESTIVE BANTER LIKE STALE BILE A HORRID SLOW REPULSION SURGED LIKE DILUTED SLOWLY BLOOD THROUGH SLOWLY ALL THROUGH HER BLO SYSTEM - MAKING HER DIZZY WITH NOWHERES. WHERE WAS SHE - HE - WHAT WAS IT? THOSE OBVIOUS EYES WERE NOTHING TO HER - SHE HATED THEM - THEY WERE TOO SOLICITOUS - SNOWY - EXPRESSIVE - VAGRANTLY - SHAMELESS OF EXPOSURE - LIKE PROSTITUTES - SOLICITING - TO BE SOLICITED -
SHE WAS SMITTEN WITH - BLOOD THRALL TO THIS MANS EYES SITTING ON ICE FILMED
THE TYPEWRITER
REMOTE WITH SLIGHTLY MISTY IMPUDENT STARRIGID BULGING STARE - WHOSE WITH DEPHTS
Alternate spelling: DEPTHS
WERE EVER UNFATHOMED - CHASTE - COOLY AFFECTIONAT
Alternate spelling: AFFECTIONATE
RETECEND
Alternate spelling: RETICENT
- FIERCELY DETERMINED WITH COLD PASSION - NARROWING TO POINT OF FOIL - WHEN HE GROW
Alternate spelling: GROWS
LIVID WITH SUPPRESSED RAGE - WICH
Alternate spelling: WHICH
SELDOM EVER OCCURED
Alternate spelling: OCCURRED
- WICH
Alternate spelling: WHICH
EVER MADE HER - VOLUPTUOUS TO BE STABBED
XWitness
CAFÉ DU DOÔMÉ.E
CAFÉ DU DOMECAFÉ DU DOME.
FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE FOR TH' LUF O' MIKEFor the love of Mike-!
 
KNOCK ME FLAT
 
FOR THE LUF OF MIKE -
LOOK AT THAT Look at that-
MARCELLLED Marcelled-
BE - WHISKERED Be-whiskered-
BE - SPATTED Be-spatted-
PPatheitic??AATHETIC -
LLymphaticIYMPHATIC -
AestheticESTHETIC-
PIG-PINK Pigpink-
QUAINT Quaint -
FASHIONABLEFASHIONABLE NATTY Natty -
SAINT KYKSaintkyk-!
 
KYK!
 
          
 
FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE
GARCONGarçon-?? !
 
A RUBBER THISTLE
 
          
CROWN - AND UN UN PNEUMATIC CROSS WH- AVEC THISTLE AUTOMATIC SUCTIONDISKS -C'S Un pneumatic cross avec suctiondiscs topped avec thistle-tire . . . s'il vous pla??t.
TOPPED AVEC AVEC WITH RUBBER THISTLE WREATH WREATH -
S'IL VOUS PLAIT.
E.V.F.L
ONE DAY SHE CAME HOME - EXPENSIVELY FASHIONABLY EXPENSIVELY DRESSED IN FASHION AS HE LIKED IT TO SATISFY HIS PRIDE IN HIMSELF SHE POUDLY CORRESPONDING EVEN AS TO A CORSET AND HAIR TRANSFORMATION - FOR SHE HAD SCANT HAIR. THIS FRIPPERY WAS BEFORE THE WAR RELEASED WOMEN FROM MALE DESIRE
TIME ??
LEANING ON THE DOOR FRAME SHE SAID PALPITATING SET CRUEL WITH A WILL SNEERING - WITH PASSION - HOPEDRIVEN HE SAT ON THE HIS TYPEWRITER - HIS OTHER PRIDE FOR SHOWING HIS MIND - VOLUMN - CAPACITY FOR GAINING SO MUCH VAIN MONEY FOR STILE
Alternate spelling: STYLE
- POUNDING AWAY NOT EVEN LOOKING AT HIS THE MANIKIN - OF HIS EXPRESSION - ?? SHE SCORNFULL
Alternate spelling: SCORNFUL
NOTICED: "I SAW A MAN WITH EYES LIKE THE SUN - THAN SHE TREMBLED WOULD HE - JUMP - SEIZE HER - SHAKE HER - SHE YIELD - FLING HERSELF - LAUGH UPROAROUSLY - AT HER LOVER - LOVER - LOVER
WITH BEND HEAD FROM BENEATH LASHES FAIR AS BLEACHED FLATWHEAT STRAW FROM EYES MIST BLUE DISTANT & FACE - AS IMPENETRABLE MYSTERIOUS - EVER NOSTALGIA WAKING HE SLANTED ONE SLOW WITHINER LOOK AT HER AS A FINE STEELLANCET BY THE WILL TO STARPILORE FOR SAKE TOOF DRAWING BLOOD AND HURT HE SAID - POINTEDLY IT PROBABLY WAS AN ARTIST.
OH. BUT HE HAD EYES LIKE THE SUN.
HAD HE? COULDNT HE PAY YOUR FURS AND HATS -
OH FELIX. YOU DON'T EVEN LOOK AT ME - WHEN I CAME HOME - I WANTED TO TELL YOU THIS - TO - TO - MAKE YOU NOTICE -
I NOTICE - BUT YOU DON'T NOTICE - ME - ALL AT ITS TIME - I AM BUSY EARNING YOUR FRIPPERY - YOU NEVER COME DOWN TO TACKS - YO ALWAYS WANT SUNDAY
IT IS ALWAYS SUNDAY - IT MUST BE - HOW SHALL I LIVE - IT HAS BEEN - FELIX - BEFORE - REMEMBER - WHY NOT NOW -
FREE ME - WHAT SHALL I DO - NOW - HERE -
I HAVEN'T TIME - DO SOMETHING! - IN THE EVENING -I'LL SEE WHAT I'LL DO HE POUNDED AWAY - HAD POUNDED ALL THROUGH THIS CONVERATION
Alternate spelling: CONVERSATION
- - THEY BOOTH
Alternate spelling: BOTH
EXPERTLY WERE USED TO TALK TO THE CLIKC CLICK CLICK - SHE EVEN HAD REVELD
Alternate spelling: REVELED
IN THIS FACT - ENHANCING HIS UNCANNY MIND BALANCE SKILL - AS HE HAD PAINSTAKINGLY INSTRUCTED HER - TO
SHE STOOD AT A MUTE - DE AT A LOSS - DEFEATED AS SHE NEVER WAS QUICK IN ARGUMENT - WICH
Alternate spelling: WHICH
DISDAINFULL HE TOOK SUPERIOR MASCULINE ADVANTAGE OF BECAUSE IT MADE HIM LORD SIMULTANEOUSL AND HURT HIS PRIDE AS HER POSSESOR - BUT SHE WAS PERMEATED WITH DUMB REBELLION. IN HER SYSTEM - SHE KNEW HE WAS FLIPPING - AT A TERRIBLE LOSS HIMSELF - BRAIN ZZLING HER EVADING WITH SUPERIOR FLIPP - WHAT WAS THE MATTER - SHE CAME FOR GREAT SUNNY SACRIFICIAL LOVE - NOT FOR THIS PALTRY QUARREL - A MAN WINS QUARRELD
Alternate spelling: QUARRELED
- SMALL - TRIFLING HUGH! AND THIS MAN OF ALL MAN - SELF POSSESSED - COLD FIERCELY ICELY BRILLIANT - EVEN ?? HIS TALL STEELY SLENDER STATURE WITH SMALL SHINY HEAD LITHE
DETERMINED
FEATURES - HOW COULD HE BE SO DEVOTE A MALE
HIMSELF
COMMONTO SUCH UNSPEAKABLE EVERY DAY COMMONESS - WHEN SHE CAME WITH FESTIVE BANTER LIKE STALE BILE A HORRID SLOW REPULSION SURGED LIKE DILUTED SLOWLY BLOOD THROUGH SLOWLY ALL THROUGH HER BLO SYSTEM - MAKING HER DIZZY WITH NOWHERES. WHERE WAS SHE - HE - WHAT WAS IT? THOSE OBVIOUS EYES WERE NOTHING TO HER - SHE HATED THEM - THEY WERE TOO SOLICITOUS - SNOWY - EXPRESSIVE - VAGRANTLY - SHAMELESS OF EXPOSURE - LIKE PROSTITUTES - SOLICITING - TO BE SOLICITED -
SHE WAS SMITTEN WITH - BLOOD THRALL TO THIS MANS EYES SITTING ON ICE FILMED
THE TYPEWRITER
REMOTE WITH SLIGHTLY MISTY IMPUDENT STARRIGID BULGING STARE - WHOSE WITH DEPHTS
Alternate spelling: DEPTHS
WERE EVER UNFATHOMED - CHASTE - COOLY AFFECTIONAT
Alternate spelling: AFFECTIONATE
RETECEND
Alternate spelling: RETICENT
- FIERCELY DETERMINED WITH COLD PASSION - NARROWING TO POINT OF FOIL - WHEN HE GROW
Alternate spelling: GROWS
LIVID WITH SUPPRESSED RAGE - WICH
Alternate spelling: WHICH
SELDOM EVER OCCURED
Alternate spelling: OCCURRED
- WICH
Alternate spelling: WHICH
EVER MADE HER - VOLUPTUOUS TO BE STABBED

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