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Aurora<br />and<br />Cardinal Point cover image Aurora
and
Cardinal Point

Michel Leiris

Atlas Anti-Classics 17

Translated by Anna Warby, Terry Hale. Introduced by Anna Warby.
ISBN 1 900565 46 3
184pp 19.7x17.6cm
£15.00
In basket [remove]
Hardback with decorated endpapers.
 
 

In a novel of extremes, whose disgust with “things as they are” includes the whole idea of “novels”, Michel Leiris pursues his heroine, Aurora, through a visionary landscape shot through with catastrophes — and his lucid yet baroque language, with its incredible descriptions and ever more extravagant metaphors, is only just able to keep pace. Leiris himself, looking back on this novel from his youth, exactly described its tone:

… despite the “black” or “frenetic” style of its blustering prose, what I like about this work is the appetite it expresses for an unattainable purity, the faith it places in the untamed imagination, the horror it manifests with regard to any kind of fixity — in fact, the way almost every page of it refuses to accept that human condition against which some will never cease to rebel, however reasonably society may be ordered.

Aurora is one of the high-points of literary Surrealism, and Leiris was an early member of the group. Close to Georges Bataille, Picasso and Jean-Paul Sartre, he was a pivotal figure in post-war Paris. A director of the Musée de l’Homme, Leiris wrote important studies in the fields of ethnology and anthropology, as well as a sequence of autobiographical works regarded as classics of modern French literature.

 
 

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