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Earthlight

Overview

Best known in the United States as the mastermind of the Surrealist movement and as the author of the dream-logic fiction Nadja, André Breton has always enjoyed in Europe the additional reputation of being a brilliant poet. Bill Zavatsky’s and Zack Rogow’s excellent translation of Breton’s Earthlight (Clair de terre) introduces the English-language audience to the delights—and complexities—of Breton’s amazing poetry. Written to friends and fellow Surrealists such as Pablo Picasso, André Derain, Robert Desnos, ...

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Overview

Best known in the United States as the mastermind of the Surrealist movement and as the author of the dream-logic fiction Nadja, André Breton has always enjoyed in Europe the additional reputation of being a brilliant poet. Bill Zavatsky’s and Zack Rogow’s excellent translation of Breton’s Earthlight (Clair de terre) introduces the English-language audience to the delights—and complexities—of Breton’s amazing poetry. Written to friends and fellow Surrealists such as Pablo Picasso, André Derain, Robert Desnos, Francis Picabia, Pierre Reverdy, and Max Ernst, the poems in the collection date from 1919 to 1936, spanning Breton’s involvement with Dadaism and his founding and development of Surrealism.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Breton (1896-1966), frequently dubbed the ``pope'' of surrealism, has had surprisingly few poems translated into English. Spanning 1919-1936, this volume covers his early work, his associations with Dada and the formative years of surrealism. Readers can at last become familiar with the artworks spawned from a great theoretical mind (Breton authored most of the surrealist manifestos). Poetry lovers familiar with the work of Apollinaire, Reverdy and others, might not find these poems particularly original on first reading. But viewed closely, Breton's ability to personify objects reveals an ironic chain of affinities not as farfetched as that of his contemporaries: ``Open and closed the beautiful windows / Hung from the day's lips / The beautiful windows with only their nighties on.'' As in his classic novel, Nadja , there is a mysterious, omnipresent sense of the erotic female that can be construed from disjointed images. Determined that Breton ``should sound like an American poet,'' the translators have more than met their goal, even managing to successfully carry over the poet's wordplay: ``Emeral dawn / Reflections' ephemeral dawn.'' Copious notes at the end of the volume explain references in poems, and comment upon the numerous dedications, providing almost a who's who of Dada and surrealism. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781931243407
  • Publisher: Green Integer Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Series: Green Integer Series
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 9
Way 23
Age 24
Grouse 25
Andre' Derain 26
Black Forest 27
For Lafcadio 28
Mister V 29
A Not-Very-Solid House 30
The Mysterious Corset 31
Five Dreams 37
Counterfeit Coin 45
PSST 46
The Reptile Houseburglars 48
Shrivelled Love 50
Maps on the Dunes 51
Unbreakable Fishnet 52
Memoirs of a Highway Stock Certificate 53
That's prison too 54
Rendezvous 55
Private 56
There's No Way Out of Here 57
Blotter of Ash 59
In the Eyes of the Gods 60
Not All of Paradise Is Lost 62
My Death by Robert Desnos 63
Choose Life 65
Silhouette of Stra 67
Isle 68
In the Valley of the World 69
A Thousand Thousand Times 71
The Egret 73
Broken Line 74
Sunflower 76
The Sun on a Leash 78
To Rrose Selavy 80
My woman with her forest-fire hair 83
Once Upon a Time to Come 89
The Pink Death 95
No Indictment 97
On the Road that Goes Up and Down 98
Ghostly Stances 101
Sparks Hotel 104
The Verb To Be 106
The Writings Depart 108
The Forest in the Axe 110
All the Schoolgirls Together 112
Knot of Mirrors 113
A Man and a Woman Completely White 115
Cheval the Mailman 116
Curtain Curtain 118
The Vertebral Sphinx 120
Vigilance 122
Unconscious 123
Last Mail Pickup 126
A Nettle Branch Comes in Through the Window 127
The Deadly Helping Hand 128
All the curtains in the world 133
World in a kiss 139
The telescope-fish 141
I dream I see you endlessly 142
The sexual eagle exults 144
The Marquis de Sade has gone back 146
I have the salt fairy 147
In the beautiful half-light 148
Zinnia-red eyes 150
It was going on five 151
Your arms and legs 152
And again motion 153
If I were you 155
They tell me the beaches 157
Always for the first time 158
Moths, little roofs 163
Notes 167
Bibliography 210
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