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Surrealism and the Art of Crime (Hardcover)

Jonathan P. Eburne

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ISBN 10: 0801446740 / ISBN 13: 9780801446740
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Hardcover. Corpses mark surrealism's path through the twentieth century, providing material evidence of the violence in modern life. Though the shifting group of poets, artists, and critics who .Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 324 pages. 0.757. Bookseller Inventory # 9780801446740

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Surrealism and the Art of Crime (Hardcover)

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


Corpses mark surrealism's path through the twentieth century, providing material evidence of the violence in modern life. Though the shifting group of poets, artists, and critics who made up the surrealist movement were witness to total war, revolutionary violence, and mass killing, it was the tawdry reality of everyday crime that fascinated them. Jonathan P. Eburne shows us how this focus reveals the relationship between aesthetics and politics in the thought and artwork of the surrealists and establishes their movement as a useful platform for addressing the contemporary problem of violence, both individual and political.In a book strikingly illustrated with surrealist artworks and their sometimes gruesome source material, Eburne addresses key individual works by both better-known surrealist writers and artists (including André Breton, Louis Aragon, Aimé Césaire, Jacques Lacan, Georges Bataille, Max Ernst, and Salvador Dalí) and lesser-known figures (such as René Crevel, Simone Breton, Leonora Carrington, Benjamin Péret, and Jules Monnerot). For Eburne "the art of crime" denotes an array of cultural production including sensationalist journalism, detective mysteries, police blotters, crime scene photos, and documents of medical and legal opinion as well as the roman noir, in particular the first crime novel of the American Chester Himes. The surrealists collected and scrutinized such materials, using them as the inspiration for the outpouring of political tracts, pamphlets, and artworks through which they sought to expose the forms of violence perpetrated in the name of the state, its courts, and respectable bourgeois values.Concluding with the surrealists' quarrel with the existentialists and their bitter condemnation of France's anticolonial wars, Surrealism and the Art of Crime establishes surrealism as a vital element in the intellectual, political, and artistic history of the twentieth century.

From the Back Cover:

"Surrealism and the Art of Crime is a terrific book. The quality is unbeatable, the writing brilliant and concise. Jonathan P. Eburne's point about the dynamism of thinking about criminality and the many links to political action is highly original. His discussion of the various images related to crime is professional and entertaining. The way in which Eburne brings the topic up to the current moment cannot fail to bring the most jaded readers of surrealism back to an attentive appreciation of the high points of its history and presence."-Mary Ann Caws, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, English, and French, the Graduate School of the City University of New York

"In Surrealism and the Art of Crime, Jonathan P. Eburne offers a revisionist analysis of surrealism and its impact from its origins to the 1950s. His focus on the artists' interest in criminal figures, faits divers, and political violence defines the often underappreciated subtlety of the relationship the surrealists forged between aesthetics and politics."-Carolyn J. Dean, Brown University

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