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Book Title: Surrealist Love Poems|
The author of the book: Mary Ann Caws
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Reader ratings: 4.2
Edition: Tate Publishing
Date of issue: September 30th 2001
ISBN 13: 9781854373663
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 393 KB
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Love poetry includes, yes, descriptions of the beloved. And images of a fantastic idyll complete with falling stars, the sound of the sea, and beautiful countryside. In the hands of Surrealists, though, love poetry also includes gravediggers and murderers, dice and garbage, snakeskin purses and "the drunken kisses of cyclones." Surrealism, the movement founded in the 1920s on the ashes of Dada's nihilism, embraced absurdity, contradiction, and, to a supreme extent, passion and desire. From André Breton's battle cry of "Mad Love" to the quiet lyricism of Robert Desnos, Surrealist writers and artists obsessively expressed the permutations of that fundamental human state, love, and they did so with the vocabulary of natural and unnatural worlds, the explicit language of sex, and a great deal of humor.
Surrealist Love Poems brings together sixty poems by Surrealists who charged their work with all forms of eroticism. Expertly and energetically edited by Mary Ann Caws, this collection seeks to demonstrate the truth of Breton's words, that "the embrace of poetry like that of bodies / As long as it lasts / Shuts out all the woes of the world."
"Erotic, impassioned and necrophilic, the sixty works gathered in Surrealist Love Poems celebrate the idea of obsessive and transformative love. 'I want to sleep with you side by side. . . . Stretched out on your shadow / Hammered by your tongue / To die in a rabbit's rotting teeth / Happy' writes Joyce Mansour. . . . Caws places poems by major surrealist writers like André Breton and Paul Eluard, along with the poetry of Picasso, Dalí, and Frida Kahlo, side by side with fourteen lushly printed and alluring black-and-white photos by the likes of Man Ray, Lee Miller, and Claude Cahun."—Publishers Weekly
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Read information about the authorMary Ann Caws (born 1933) is an American author, art historian and literary critic
She is currently a Distinguished Professor of English, French and Comparative Literature at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. She is an expert on Surrealism and modern English and French literature, having written biographies of Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and Henry James. She works on the interrelations of visual art and literary texts, has written biographies of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, edited the diaries, letters, and source material of Joseph Cornell. She has also written on André Breton, Robert Desnos, René Char, Yves Bonnefoy, Robert Motherwell, and Edmond Jabès. She served as the senior editor for the HarperCollins World Reader, and edited anthologies on Manifestos - Isms, Surrealism, Twentieth Century French Literature. Among others, she has translated Stéphane Mallarmé, Tristan Tzara, Pierre Reverdy, André Breton, Paul Éluard, Robert Desnos, and René Char.
Among the positions she has held are President, Association for Study of Dada and Surrealism, 1971-75 and President, Modern Language Association of America, 1983, Academy of Literary Studies, 1984-5, and the American Comparative Literature Association, 1989-91.
In October 2004, she published her autobiography, To the Boathouse: a Memoir (University Alabama Press), and in November 2008, a cookbook memoir: "Provencal Cooking: Savoring the Simple Life in France" (Pegasus Books).
She was married to Peter Caws and is the mother of Hilary Caws-Elwitt and of Matthew Caws, lead singer of the band Nada Surf. She is married to Dr. Boyce Bennett; they live in New York City.
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