Mad Love

Overview

Mad Love has been acknowledged an undisputed classic of the surrealist movement since its first publication in France in 1937. Its adulation of love as both mystery and revelation places it in the most abiding of literary traditions, but its stormy history and technical difficulty have prevented it from being translated into English until now. 

"There has never been any forbidden fruit. Only temptation is divine," writes André Breton, leader of the surrealists in Paris in ...

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Overview

Mad Love has been acknowledged an undisputed classic of the surrealist movement since its first publication in France in 1937. Its adulation of love as both mystery and revelation places it in the most abiding of literary traditions, but its stormy history and technical difficulty have prevented it from being translated into English until now. 

"There has never been any forbidden fruit. Only temptation is divine," writes AndrĂ© Breton, leader of the surrealists in Paris in the 1920s and '30s. Mad Love is dedicated to defying "the widespread opinion that love wears out, like the diamond, in its own dust." Celebrating breton's own love and lover, the book unveils the marvelous in everyday encounters and the hidden depths of ordinary things.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Breton, father of the surrealist movement, saw that the basic problem of making a living could interfere with love as well as poetry. Love, for the French poet, had to be transformed into a powerful emotion that put the lover in touch with the marvelous. The focus of this transformation, in his own case, was artist Jacqueline Lamba, with whom he lived in New York, Mexico and Marseilles. L'Amour fou (1937) is convoluted and stilted when it sets forth his surrealist philosophy of ``mad love,'' romantic and sometimes incandescently lyrical when it presents autobiographical reminiscences. Included is a moving letter Breton wrote to his daughter (``I want you to be madly loved''). This first English-language translation of the surrealist text is also the first volume in the French Modernist Library. (July 8)
Library Journal
In this definitional essay of 1936, Breton, then 40, indulged in another explicit, autobiographical illustration of Surrealism. Despite his title, he does not sacramentalize sex; rather, he evokes special moments in his life since Nadja (1928), epiphanies intensified by his receptive search for instructive, fortuitous juxtapositions. He concludes with a letter to his eight-month-old daughter, whose appealing infancy stimulates his most tender and vehement thoughts on humankind. Translator Caws provides a masterly introduction and annotation, and the original visuals are nicely reproduced: six photographs by Man Ray, three by Brasai, and one each by Cartier-Bression, Dora Maer, and Rogi Andre. Marilyn Gaddis Rose, Comparative Literature Dept., SUNY at Binghamton
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803260726
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1988
  • Series: French Modernist Library
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 131
  • Sales rank: 953,477
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

"Translator Caws provides a masterly introduction and annotation," wrote the reviewer for the Library Journal. Mary Ann Caws, Distinguished Professor of French, English, and Comparative Literature at Hunter College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York, is the author or translator of more than twenty books.

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