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The Automatic Message cover image The Automatic Message

André Breton, Paul Eluard, Philippe Soupault

Atlas Anti-Classics 6

Translated by David Gascoyne, Antony Melville & Jon Graham. Introduced by David Gascoyne & Antony Melville.
ISBN 0 947757 99 6
223pp 19 x 17cm
£9.99 out of stock
Contains The Automatic Message, The Magnetic Fields, and The Immaculate Conception
 
 

This book collects together the two most vital “automatic” texts of Surrealism. Breton’s prefatory essay The Automatic Message relates this technique to the underlying concepts and aesthetic of the Surrealist movement.

The Magnetic Fields (1919) was the first work of literary Surrealism and is thus one of the foundations of modern European thought and writing. This authorised translation is by the poet David Gascoyne, himself a member of the group and a friend of both authors.

The Immaculate Conception (1930) traces the interior and exterior life of man from Conception and Intra-Uterine Life to Death and The Original Judgement. The central section is a celebrated series of “simulations” of various types of mental instability.

Maurice Nadeau (in The History of Surrealism) described the book as “An astonishing series of poems in prose, more brilliant than those of either Breton or Eluard on his own ... if all that remained of the Surrealist movement were the pages of The Immaculate Conception, man, alerted, could not turn away from the astounding mystery of his condition."

 
 

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