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Communicating Vessels

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"This book is of tremendous importance for an understanding of modernism, and makes clear that Breton is a central figure of the twentieth century."-San Francisco Chronicle. What Freud did for dreams, Andri Breton (1896-1966) does for despair: in its distortions he finds the marvelous, and through the marvelous the redemptive force of imagination. Originally published in 1932 in France, Les Vases communicants is an effort to show how the discoveries and techniques of surrealism could lead to recovery from despondency. This English translation makes available "the theories upon which the whole edifice of surrealism, as Breton conceived it, is based." In Communicating Vessels Breton lays out the problems of everyday experience and of intellect. His involvement with political thought and action led him to write about the relations between nations and individuals in a mode that moves from the quotidian to the lyrical. His dreams triggered a curious correspondence with Freud, available only in this book. As Caws writes, "The whole history of surrealism is here, in these pages." Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor of French, English, and Comparative Literature at the Graduate School of the City University of New York. Her translation of Breton's Mad Love is also available as a Bison Book. Geoffrey T. Harris is a senior lecturer on modern languages at the University of Salford in England. Hide synopsis

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