La fin du monde filmée par l’Ange N.-D, Paris: 1919

Bound illustrated book with pochoir
Graphic Arts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library
Cendrars intended The End of the World Filmed by the Angel N.-D. as a film script, but it was never realized. Fernand Léger’s illustrations are thus the closest we can come to Cendrars’s vision. The cinematic quality of his prose is also present in a collaboration with the artist Sonia Delaunay, La Prose du Transsiberian. But whereas the earlier work was created in the era of artistic experimentation just before the Great War, La fin du monde reflects a darker sensibility born out of Cendrars’s experiences as a soldier in the French Foreign Legion. The story begins with God seated at his desk, smoking a cigar and signing documents. He visits every conceivable plague upon humankind, all in the name of maximizing profits (i.e., souls). Cendrars intended that after God had destroyed the world, the film would be rewound, so that the story ended at the beginning.

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