An artistic philosophy that took hold in 1920s Paris and spread throughout the world in the decades that followed. André Breton outlined its aims in his Surrealist Manifesto (1924), affirming the supremacy of the “disinterested play of thought” and the “omnipotence of dreams” rather than reason and logic. Breton and his colleagues were inspired by Freudian psychoanalysis and its emphasis on the power of unconscious thought. ... Surrealist practices were also used in the visual arts, particularly in the paintings of Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Joan Miró, and René Magritte, and in the films of Jean Cocteau. A second generation of surrealist writers emerged in other parts of the world, especially in Latin America; see the poems of Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz. The surrealist aesthetic has influenced modern and contemporary poets writing in English as well; James Tate, John Ashbery, and Michael Palmer are notable (The Poetry Foundation).
Presents the essential ideas of the founder of French surrealism, Andre Breton.
Surrealist Poetry presents new English translations of nearly 150 poems alongside their original French and Spanish versions. The twenty-three poets in this collection come not only from France, where Surrealism was invented, but also from Spain, Belgium, Martinique, Mauritius, Catalonia, Mexico, Chile, and Peru. Three of them were awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (Vicente Aleixandre, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz). Equipped with a critical introduction and a brief bibliography, this anthology will appeal to anyone interested in modern literature.
Andre Breton, Jean-Pierre Cauvin, et al.$19.95
Andre Breton (1896-1966) was the founder of Surrealism and a major leader of the avante-garde movement in France following World War I. This exceptional volume brings together the most comprehensive selection of poems by Breton available in the English language. Here, in a bilingual French-English format are 73 poems representing all styles and stages of the writer's career.
Paul Eluard (1895-1952) is widely considered to be one of France's most important poets. This bilingual edition translates Eluard's marvelous books of Last Love Poems composed during 1946-1951. Included is an enlightening introduction covering Eluard's later works.
James Tate$19.95 $18.35
The Selected Poems James Tate's Pulitzer Prize-winning collection and his first British publication, gathers work from nine previous books, from the Lost Pilot which was a Yale Younger Poets selection in 1967, through his 1986 collection Reckoner. He is a most agile poet in a precarious world. Life is alarming and absurd, but properly considered that absurdity reveals, often with laughter, the something else by which we live. The poems are about our world, our wrecked, vexed love for it. Tate has been described as a surrealist. If that is what he is, his surrealism issues in a vision of a world delivered back to itself by his unillusioned subversion and candor.
Louis Aragon$15.95 $14.67
Paris Peasant (1926) is one of the central works of Surrealism, yet Exact Change's edition is the first US publication of Simon Watson Taylor's authoritative translation, completed after consultations with the author. Unconventional in form―Aragon consciously avoided recognizable narration or character development―Paris Peasant is, in the author's words, “a mythology of the modern.” The book uses the city of Paris as a stage or framework, and Aragon interweaves his text with images of related ephemera: café menus, maps, inscriptions on monuments and newspaper clippings. A detailed description of a Parisian arcade (nineteenth-century precursor to the mini-mall) and another of the Buttes-Chaumont park, are among the great set pieces within Aragon's swirling prose of philosophy, dream and satire.
The British surrealist movement was overshadowed by World War II, yet contributions were vibrant and durable. Placing the work in the wider European context of literary surrealism, this is a fascinating anthology of British surrealist writing with a particular focus on poetry. Including various stimulating original texts—previously unpublished manifestoes, declarations, poems, and more—this book’s appeal is wide ranging.
Octavio Paz$19.95 $18.35
The Poems of Octavio Paz is the first retrospective collection of Paz’s poetry to span his entire writing career from his first published poem, at age seventeen, to his magnificent last poem. This landmark bilingual edition contains many poems that have never been translated into English before, plus new translations based on Paz’s final revisions. Assiduously edited by Eliot Weinberger―who has been translating Paz for over forty years―The Poems of Octavio Paz also includes translations by the poet-luminaries Elizabeth Bishop, Paul Blackburn, Denise Levertov, Muriel Rukeyser, and Charles Tomlinson. Readers will also find Weinberger’s capsule biography of Paz, as well as notes on many poems in Paz’s own words, taken from various interviews he gave throughout his long and singular life.
The late John Ashbery was a poet whose “teasing, delicate, soulful lines made him one of the most influential figures of late-20th and early 21st century American literature.” (The New York Times) This important volume gathers work from his first ten collections of poetry, from Some Trees, which was chosen by W.H. Auden for the Yale Younger Poets Series (1956), to A Wave (1984). The 138 poems in this volume include short lyrics, haikus, prose poems, and many of Ashbery’s major long poems, including “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,” offering a beautiful distillation of the first thirty years of his remarkable, groundbreaking work.
Michael Palmer has been hailed by John Ashbery as "exemplarily radical" and by The Village Voice as "the most influential avant-gardist working, and perhaps the greatest poet of his generation." His new book, Company of Mothsa collection in four parts, "Stone," "Scale," "Company of Moths," and "Dream"is beautiful, and fierce: "bright archive, sad merriment," "question pursuing question." Palmer, in this new volume for our darkest times, asks, "How will you now read in the dark?"