Surrealist Poetry

Surrealist Poetry : An Anthology

3.56 (18 ratings by Goodreads)

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Surrealist Poetry presents new English translations of nearly 150 poems alongside their original French and Spanish versions.

Founded by Andre Breton in 1924, Surrealism sought to examine the unconscious realm by means of the written or spoken word. Seeking to expand the ability of language to evoke irrational states and improbable events, it consistently strove to transcend the linguistic status quo. By stretching language to its limits and beyond, the Surrealists transformed it into an instrument for exploring the human psyche.

The twenty-three poets in this collection come not only from France, where Surrealism was invented, but also from Spain, Belgium, Martinique, Mauritius, Catalonia, Mexico, Chile, and Peru. Three of them were awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (Vicente Aleixandre, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz). Equipped with a critical introduction and a brief bibliography, this anthology will appeal to anyone interested in modern literature.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 33.02mm | 590g
  • Bloomsbury Academic USA
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1441199772
  • 9781441199775

Table of contents


Rafael Alberti
Vicente Aleixandre
Louis Aragon
Braulio Arenas
Antonin Artaud
Andre Breton
Andre Breton, Rene Char, and Paul Eluard
Luis Cernuda
Aime Cesaire
Rene Char
Malcolm de Chazal
Robert Desnos
Paul Eluard
J. V. Foix
Federico Garcia Lorca
Jose Maria Hinojosa
Marianne van Hirtum
Miguel Labordeta
E.L.T. Mesens
Cesar Moro
Pablo Neruda
Octavio Paz
Benjamin Peret
Philippe Soupault

Selected Bibliography
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Review quote

This wide-ranging collection of poetry is outstanding in its ambition and achievements. Encompassing the work of twenty-three Surrealist poets across the Surrealist epicentre in France, to Spain, the Francophone world and Latin America, the beautifully presented side-by-side translation of poems allows for a holistic view of the vast breadth of Surrealist poetic enquiry ... [Bohn's] choice of a relatively small number of poets allows for an appreciation of a larger selection of each writer's works: his admittedly streamlined approach, purposely devoid of any overbearing critical apparatus, allows the poems and poets to speak for themselves. This inclusive and even-handed approach will undoubtedly prove very useful to scholars of the twentieth century across disciplines. * Forum for Modern Language Studies * Willard Bohn's well-researched, carefully chosen, and deftly translated selection of poems by many of the key names in French- and Spanish-speaking Surrealism has done the movement a great service ... [It] deals with both French and Spanish examples with bravery, skill, sensitivity, and aplomb. * Translation and Literature * Willard Bohn's Surrealist Poetry is a venture full of courage: that of a single translator interpreting French and Spanish poems of the Surrealist persuasion. He has done it-thanks be-with a sufficiently ample selection from each of the poets chosen to represent their highly individual takes on the marvelous junction of the real and unreal. Never are the selections uninteresting or flat: they are faithful to Surrealism itself. * Mary Ann Caws, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, English, and French, Graduate School of the City University of New York, USA, and editor of The Yale Anthology of Twentieth-Century French Poetry and Surrealist Love Poems * This bilingual anthology is a considerable achievement and an excellent complement to Bohn's The Dada Market: An Anthology of Poetry (1983) and Reading Visual Poetry (2011). Many readers will be indebted to him for his translations of a wide selection of poems in French and Spanish written by poets both famous and unfamiliar. This anthology fills a large gap as it demonstrates the potency of the Surrealist ambition to liberate the imagination and with it poetic language. * C. Brian Morris, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Spanish Literature, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, and author of Surrealism and Spain 1920-1936 (1972) *
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About Prof. Willard Bohn

Willard Bohn is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature at Illinois State University, USA. He is the author or editor of sixteen books, including The Avant-Garde Imperative (2013); Marvelous Encounters: Surrealist Responses to Film, Art, Poetry and Architecture (2003); Italian Futurist Poetry (2005); The Dada Market: An Anthology of Poetry (1993); and The Aesthetics of Visual Poetry, 1914-1928 (1993).
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Rating details

18 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 22% (4)
4 28% (5)
3 39% (7)
2 6% (1)
1 6% (1)
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