Surrealism at Play


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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction. A Modern Critical Ludic 1
1. Blur 29
2. Drift 72
3. System 137
4. Pun 185
5. Postlude 246
Notes 273
Bibliography 331
Index 351

About the Author

Susan Laxton is Associate Professor of Art History at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of Paris as Gameboard: Man Ray's Atgets.


"This volume adds another layer of interpretation and visual analysis to the mass of recent scholarship on surrealism during its heyday. . . . Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty." -- W. S. Bradley * Choice *
"Surrealism at Play is a major contribution to the study of surrealism: Laxton balances a close reading of artwork with theoretical analysis. Every art school and college that covers surrealism in its curriculum and every museum with surrealist works in its collection should acquire this work."
-- Stephen Bury * ARLIS/NA Reviews *
"This book, without doubt, will take its rightful place alongside the best works in art history and literary criticism. Very well written, extensively researched, and breaking new ground in the understanding of surrealism." -- Robert Maddox-Harle * Leonardo Reviews *
"Surrealism at Play passionately traces how a particular art movement envisioned and articulated its own transformative potential. . . . Laxton helps us understand the Surrealists' insistence on irrationality not as a sport, but rather as an attempt to engage in the political debates of their time." -- Ela Bittencourt * Hyperallergic *
"Laxton's project is a major accomplishment, matching extensive imagination with scholarly rigor." -- Natalie Dupecher * CAA Reviews *

"Laxton's elegantly written book engages with the topical question of play and points to future research on avant-garde and contemporary art along ludic critical lines."

-- Xiaofan Amy Li * French Studies *
"Laxton's sharp, well-informed, and incisive study offers a rich exploration of the serious business of surrealist play." -- Johanna Malt * Modernism/modernity *

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