Saint Andre Breton

 

Nadja

Andre Breton

1896-1966

Breton’s Nadja is the most well-known and most enduring example

of the “surrealist novel.” This semi-autobiographical work is an

account of Breton’s relationship with a strange and

unconventional young woman in Paris. Nadja is an enigmatic,

haunting presence; she is both material and immaterial, modern

and ancient,artificial and carnal, sane and mad. She is a state

of mind, a projection that disrupts the structures of everyday

reality, a metaphor for”the soul in limbo.” Using the figure of

Nadja, perhaps rather questionably, Breton channels the key

elements of surrealist thought: accident, shock, desire,

eroticism, magic, and radical freedom. The narrative consists of

a series of chance encounters around the cit, yjumping from

point to point with its own unconscious logic. Notionally a

“romance,” Nadja is really a meditation on surrealism as a way

of life, overturning the distinctions between art and

world,dream and reality.

A literary collage, the prose is supplemented by images,

including sketches by Nadja herself, prints of surrealist

paintings, and numerous photographs.%2

via History of Art: Masterpieces of World Literature-Andre Breton.

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