Savitri Devi - Forever and Ever

Author : Srimati Savitri Dëvi Mukherji (Maximine Portaz, Maximiani Portas)
Title : Forever and Ever
Year : 1953

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Savitri Devi’s For Ever and Ever . . . is a book of sixteen “prose poems” written in 1952-53. (From this point on, I am going to “modernize” the spelling of the title to Forever and Ever and drop the ellipses.) Forever and Ever is one of three books left unpublished at the time of Savitri’s death. The others are Hart wie Kruppstahl (Hard as Steel), written 1960-63, a tribute to German National Socialists before and after the Second World War, and Tyrtée l’Athenien (Tyrtaios the Athenian), a novel set in ancient Greece, written circa 1964-68, but not finished. These books were thought lost, but were preserved by a French friend of Savitri, who informed the Archive of their existence on 13 April 2006. Still unknown is the fate of a fourth unfinished book, Ironies et paradoxes dans l’histoire et la légende (Ironies and Paradoxes in History and Legend), begun in 1979 but abandoned after one and a half chapters due to Savitri’s deteriorating eyesight. On 2 September 2006, the Archive received a photocopy of the typescript of Forever and Ever. To be more precise, we received a typescript of 65 pages (three unnumbered front pages, plus 62 numbered pages) comprising the first fifteen of the sixteen poems. Fortunately, multiple copies of the final poem, “1953” (“And Time Rolls On . . . ”) survive, and the poem has already been published. To celebrate Savitri Devi’s 101st birthday, 30 September 2006, the Archive will publish Forever and Ever one poem at a time. The first poem, “1918,” is below. But first a few words about the pages that come before it. The title page reads FOR EVER AND EVER . . . By SAVITRI DEVI (PDF). The second page bears the dedication “To A.H.,” which needs no elaboration (PDF). The third page bears the epigraph of the book: “Wenn alle untreu werden, So bleiben wir doch treu . . .” (“When all become unfaithful, We remain faithful still . . .”), the first two lines of Max von Schenkendorf’s 1814 “Treuelied,” which was adopted by the SS (PDF). Then follows “1918” itself. There may, however, be a page or two missing from the manuscript. After the fifth poem is a page bearing the words “DAYS OF GLORY . . .” (PDF). After the tenth poem is a page bearing the words “DAYS OF HORROR.” (PDF). These pages divide the book into three sections. There is, however, no corresponding title page before the first poem. If such a page existed, however, judging from the other pages, the title it bore probably began with the words “DAYS OF.” It is, furthermore, possible that there was a fourth section of the manuscript, since the final poem,“1953,” may have been placed in its own separate section. In transcribing and editing these poems for publication, I have translated the German epigraphs, corrected any spelling and grammatical errors, and “Americanized” and updated the spelling. I have not altered Savitri’s sometimes eccentric capitalization practices. Nor have I altered her punctuation, although I have pruned her sometimes long ellipses down to three dots each. I provide PDF images of the manuscript for those who wish to check my editing or bypass it altogether. Just click the title of each poem. —R. G. Fowler ...

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