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Free Rein (Hardcover) Loot Price: R887
Discovery Miles 8 870
You Save: R181 (17%)
Free Rein (Hardcover): Andre Breton

Free Rein (Hardcover)

Andre Breton; Translated by Michel Parmentier, Jacqueline d'Amboise

Series: French Modernist Library

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List price R1,068 Loot Price R887 Discovery Miles 8 870 | Repayment Terms: R82 pm x 12* You Save R181 (17%)

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A compendium of the French surrealist's major prose writings, from 1936 to 1952, which intriguingly exposes Breton's limitations and datedness along with his besetting enthusiasms. This surrealist exemplar, like his colleagues, sought "the liberation of the human spirit" through perceptual experiment. His main literary tool in this was automatism, a method of composition that abandoned the rational in order to discover more intrinsic truths lodged in the unconscious. Breton's desires to "transform the world," to "change life," and to "reshape the human mind" were subversively political as well as aesthetic in purpose. But an abiding irony of his wordage is its dogmatism and stiff, bulging verbal edifice in a collection that includes memoir, political and cultural critique, aesthetic credos, public lectures, and all-purpose rants. Though historically a rebel, Breton also conveys the contrary urges of an institution-builder or party stalwart who is indulging in a few too many partisan, chastening pronouncements. In this translation, his style comes across as baroque, with some exceptions, as when the author was inspired to reply to a precocious 12-year-old girl's letter. She asked him, "Do you think Americans are right to give so much freedom to children or is it better, as in France, to subject them to strict discipline? . . . Do you recommend artists such as Matisse and Picasso to children?" Called on to radically simplify his position for a child with no prior assumptions, Breton could be fetchingly ingenuous and illuminating. "Well," he conceded, "if you had been able to question me earlier, you would have found me much more self-confident." The paradoxes implied by a once-vernal intelligence, which now come to seem rather Wizard-of-Oz-like, recommend a reconsideration of Breton's work. (Kirkus Reviews)
"Free Rein" is a gathering of seminal essays by Andre Breton, the foremost figure among the French surrealists. Written between 1936 and 1952, they include addresses, manifestoes, prefaces, exhibition pamphlets, and theoretical, polemical, and lyrical essays. Together they display the full span of Breton's preoccupations, his abiding faith in the early principles of surrealism, and the changing orientations, in light of crucial events of those years, of the surrealist movement within which he remained the leading force.

Having broken decisively with Marxism in the mid-1930s, Breton repeatedly addresses the horrors of the Stalinist regime (which denounced him during the Moscow trials of 1936). He argues for the autonomy of art and poetry and condemns the subservience to "revolutionary" aims exemplified by socialist realism. Other articles reflect on aesthetic issues, cinema, music, and education and provide detailed meditations on the literary, artistic, and philosophical topics for which he is best known. "Free Rein" will prove indispensable for students of Breton, surrealism, and modern French and European culture.

General

Imprint: University of Nebraska Press
Country of origin: United States
Series: French Modernist Library
Release date: March 1996
First published: March 1996
Authors: Andre Breton
Translators: Michel Parmentier • Jacqueline d'Amboise
Dimensions: 164 x 238 x 25mm (L x W x T)
Format: Hardcover - Cloth over boards
Pages: 293
ISBN-13: 978-0-8032-1241-1
Subtitles: French
Categories: Books > Arts & Architecture > History of art / art & design styles
Books > Language & Literature > Literature: history & criticism
Books > Language & Literature > Literature: texts
Books > Social sciences > Politics & government
Books > Arts & Architecture > History of art / art & design styles > From 1900
Books > Language & Literature > Literature: history & criticism > Literary studies
Books > Language & Literature > Literature: history & criticism > Novels, other prose & writers
Books > Language & Literature > Literature: texts > Essays, journals, letters & other prose works
Books > Social sciences > Politics & government > Political science & theory
Books > Arts & Architecture > History of art / art & design styles > From 1900 > Art styles, First World War to 1960
Books > Language & Literature > Literature: history & criticism > Literary studies > From 1900
Books > Language & Literature > Literature: history & criticism > Novels, other prose & writers > General
Books > Language & Literature > Literature: texts > Essays, journals, letters & other prose works > General
Books > Arts & Architecture > History of art / art & design styles > From 1900 > Art styles, First World War to 1960 > Surrealism & Dada
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LSN: 0-8032-1241-0
Barcode: 9780803212411

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