Book Notes: "Surrealism" edited by Patrick Waldberg

SurrealismSurrealism by Patrick Waldberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At first I thought this book was an old high school art text. But after a while, it was obvious that the book is a collection of original works by Ernst, Dali, and in particular, Andre Breton, written for a number of surrealist magazines over several decades. The references to Rimbaud made me think of Bob Dylan, and the fascination with Freud, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx and Engels, and many other great thinkers threw me. The development of surrealism from the early 1920s well into the 1960s was also a surprising discovery. The fascination with automatic writing makes me wonder to what extent Jack Kerouac was influenced by surrealism. There are many colour and black and white photos of the artists and their work, and the notes and biographical details are helpfully comprehensive. I must admit that I knew little of surrealism beyond Dali, and it is interesting for a movement that, to some extent, was a revolution against academe, was so very much academic despite its reputation.

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