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Robert Desnos, Surrealism, and the Marvelous in Everyday Life


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Re-evaluates the surrealist movement through the life and works of one of its founders

About the Author

Katharine Conley is an associate professor of French at Dartmouth College. She is the author of Automatic Woman: The Representation of Woman in Surrealism (Nebraska 1996).


" Katherine Conley has now given Desnos the critical biography he deserves in English... Conley's great contribution is in tracing the whole of his trajectory, filling the gaps with archival research and her own interviews with surviving friends and witnesses, judiciously separating fact from pious, apocryphal legend... Conley effectively reinforces Desnos's status as an oceanographer of the unconscious and as a magnificent poet who extended the range and credentials of automatic writing, then strove to take the Surrealist spirit to a broad and varied audience." Times Literary Supplement " ... engrossing ... " London Review of Books "Katharine Conley, connoisseur of the bizarre, resuscitates the most established practitioner of automatism in Robert Desnos, Surrealism, and the Marvelous in Everyday Life" Vanity Fair " ... is bound to revolutionize and invigorate the field of surrealist studies. Conley proposes a succinct reading of Desnos's poetics as well as a new approach to 'everyday life' in surrealist communities: she unveils a new role of the surrealist poet as a mediator of popular culture and as a popular intellectual." Martine Antle, author of The Rhetoric of the Other: Lesbian and Gay Strategies of Resistance in French and Francophone Contexts "One of the essential and so far missing pieces in the history of surrealism in this country." Serge Gavronsky, author of Toward a New Poetics: Contemporary Writing in France

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