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Ron Sakolsky, "RIP Don LaCoss, Historian of Arab Surrealist Movement"

"RIP Don LaCoss, Historian of Arab Surrealist Movement"
Ron Sakolsky

It is with great sorrow that Fifth Estate has to report the death of our dear friend and comrade, Don LaCoss on January 31. He had been terribly sick for several months with a relentless respiratory illness that finally morphed into pneumonia. Don was the editor of the as of yet unfinished next edition of our publication and was literally at work on it the night of his death.

All of his friends and colleagues in La Crosse, Wis., where he taught and lived with his family, are in great shock as are we who knew Don to be creative and lively, humorous and scholarly. He is irreplaceable in the true meaning of the word. For those of you who knew Don personally, there will be memorials for him in Lacross and Madison next week. If you only knew him from his by-line on Fifth Estate essays, you know as a reader how sorely we will miss his always-on-the-mark writing.

His issue, with the theme of DIY, which he swore would be printed on Feb. 15, will probably be delayed a few more weeks, but it is still Don's issue, and we will complete it in the manner he intended. Below is a very short appreciation of him by his friend in the Surrealist movement, Ron Sakolsky.

"One of Don's last research projects was on the history of Egyptian surrealism, so it is fitting that his death was poetically heralded by a popular insurrection in the streets of Cairo. As the founding manifesto of the 1973 Arab Surrealist Movement in Exile exclaimed as if in anticipation of the possibilities opened up by recent events in Tunisia and Egypt: 'We call upon individuals and the masses to unleash their instincts against all forms of repression, including the repressive ' reason ' of the bourgeois order. We poison the intellectual atmosphere with the elixir of the imagination, so that the poet will realize himself in realizing the historical transformation of poetry. We liberate language from the prisons and stock markets of capitalist confusion. ' Correspondingly, for Don, poetry and revolution were always hovering in the air like ripe fruits waiting to be plucked by those dubwise enough to get the joke. Like the "honesty" of Guy Fawkes, who was executed on Jan 31 1606 for his part in the Gunpowder Plot on the British parliament, the incendiary black humor of Don Lacoss, who died on the same day 205 years later, was, in the words of André Breton, like 'a spark in search of a powder keg'. "
Feb.2, 2011

Please feel free to write back with questions. Here is Don's blog where you may feel free to leave remarks. http://donsblog64.blogspot.com/

--from Don's friends at the Fifth Estate

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Summer 2010 Theme: Belief.

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