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Compulsive Beauty


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Breaking away from a critical tradition where for far too long gossip has competed with asymbolic grasps of ecstasy, Hal Foster's Compulsive Beauty will stand out in the literature devoted to Surrealism as the first convincing exploration of what is at the core of the Surrealist project: the status of the work of art in the age of psychoanalysis. If Surrealism was the last avant-garde to have cared about taking the pulse of a feverish beauty, Foster has discovered that it was beating, beyond the pleasure principle, to the uncanny beat of the death instinct. -- Denis Hollier, Yale University In exhilarating, thoughtful and subtle arguments, Foster takes surrealist interpretations of psychoanalysis into a shocking encounter with the Freudian uncanny...[An] extremely important book. -- Jane Beckett, Times Higher Education Supplement

About the Author

Hal Foster is Townsend Martin '17 Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University and the author of Prosthetic Gods (MIT Press) and other books.


"In exhilarating, thoughtful and subtle arguments, Foster takessurrealist interpretations of psychoanalysis into a shockingencounter with the Freudian uncanny... [An] extremely importantbook." Jane Beckett , Times Higher Education Supplement

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