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Nicolas Calas and the Challenge of Surrealism

This is the first intellectual biography of the Greek-American surrealist poet and art critic Nicolas Calas (19071988), who emerged on the scene in a vital period in Greek literary history -- a period that would yield the so-called "Generation of the Thirties" and its two Nobel laureates George Seferis and Odysseas Elyis Calas, an important forerunner of Greek surrealism in the early 1930s, moved to Paris in the mid-1930s, joining the circle around Andre Breton, before resettling in New York on the eve of World War II. Here he would help pave the way for several of his friends, such as Breton, Ernst, and Tanguy and other artists, being an instrumental figure in the dissemination of surrealism in the U.S., writing catalogues and contributing to important art publications. During the 1960-70s -- now an established and well-respected art critic for journals such as Village Voice, Art International and Artforum -- Calas continued to champion surrealist ideals, but also writing extensively on Pop Art, which put him in opposition to most other surrealists of the time. This venturesome book-length study of Nicolas Calas -- the first of its kind -- will be of great interest to students, scholars and general readers interested in the many fields and disciplines that Calas traversed -- art criticism, surrealism, philosophy, poetry to name but a few -- throwing new and important light on a highly enigmatic poet and intellectual who continuously put forward challenging questions, all in the service of the avant-garde.
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About the Author

Lena Hoff, Ph.D. in Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham.

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