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Surreal Lives

Surreal Lives

(1999)
The Surrealists, 1917-1945
A non fiction book by

 
Playful, amusing, frivolous, and bizarre. As Ruth Brandon points out in the preface to her marvelous Surreal Lives, surrealism has passed into everyday life as a byword for the strange. However, as this wonderfully exhaustive book point outs, the intellectual and political drive behind the movement was in fact highly revolutionary. What Brandon proceeds to unfold is a kaleidoscopic cultural history of the movement, which by 1924 had self-consciously adopted the title "surrealism," from its emergence in the midst of the ashes of interwar Zurich dada to its enforced relocation to New York in the 1940s. Along the way Surreal Lives deftly weaves a fascinating account of the cultural, artistic, political, personal, and sexual dynamics of the men and women who defined the movement from the 1920s onward.

The personal and artistic connections between the usual suspects of Apollinaire, Picabia, Man Ray, Duchamp, Buñuel, and Dalí are all traced in extensive and highly entertaining detail. And at the book's center lies the pompous, autocratic, charismatic figure of André Breton and his creative but highly volatile relations with the entire cast--from his feuds with Tristan Tzara to his ultimate disillusion with Dalí. Following Breton's enigmatic career, the book moves beautifully between the revolutionary aspirations of the movement and the endemic literary squabbles that often blunted its radicalism. Brandon is particularly successful at uncovering the importance of the various women who had such a decisive impact upon the development of surrealism, as well as offering a range of salacious and often wonderfully incongruous encounters, such as the aged Erik Satie's involvement in the creation of Marcel Duchamp's The Gift. How surreal. --Jerry Brotton, Amazon.co.uk

 
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Hardback Editions

June 2008 : USA Library Binding
Title: Surreal Lives: The Surrealists 1917-1945
Author(s): Ruth Brandon
ISBN: 1-4395-0210-2 / 978-1-4395-0210-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Paw Prints 2008-06-26
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

September 1999 : USA Hardback
Title: Surreal Lives: The Surrealists 1917-1945
Author(s): Ruth Brandon
ISBN: 0-8021-1653-1 / 978-0-8021-1653-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Grove Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 1999 : UK Hardback
Title: Surreal Lives: The Surrealists, 1917-45
Author(s): Ruth Brandon
ISBN: 0-333-68155-X / 978-0-333-68155-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Macmillan
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

August 2000 : USA Paperback
Title: Surreal Lives: The Surrealists 1917-1945
Author(s): Ruth Brandon
ISBN: 0-8021-3727-X / 978-0-8021-3727-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Grove Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 2000 : UK Paperback
Title: Surreal Lives: The Surrealists 1917-1945
Author(s): Ruth Brandon
ISBN: 0-333-68156-8 / 978-0-333-68156-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Macmillan
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   



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