Surrealism in the Twenty-First Century
MARIE-CLAIRE BARNET, ERIC ROBERTSON AND NIGEL SAINT Introduction Ce n’est pas la poésie qui doit être libre, c’est le poète.1 A legendary figure within the Surrealist movement, Robert Desnos (1900–1945) has left a unique legacy as a poet of distinction, as a ‘dormeur éveillé’ revered by his fellow Surrealists, and as a free spirit par excellence. In celebrating Desnos’s unique creative voice, this book re-evaluates his status within and beyond the Surrealist move- ment, reappraises his status as a poet, and sheds new light on his con- tribution to the literary and cultural life of his age. The essays in the volume reflect the ongoing vitality and relevance of Desnos’s poetry and the sheer originality of his contribution to the various other forms of expression in which he excelled: journalism, script-writing and song-writing, to name but a few. The visual arts occupied a par- ticularly important place in his work, as is borne out by his extensive writings on art and artists, his active involvement in avant-garde film and his close associations with a number of prominent painters. The principal aim of the book is to illustrate the variety and enduring appeal of Desnos’s literary endeavours, but it also intends to reveal the lines of continuity that cut across the wide range of creative forms which he used. The various chapters explore Desnos from many angles, offering fresh approaches not only to his work as a poet, critic and journalist, but also to the literary, historical...
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