An elegant consideration of the Surrealist movement as a global phenomenon and why it continues to resonate
Why does Surrealism continue to fascinate us a century after André Breton’s Manifesto of Surrealism? How do we encounter Surrealism today? Mark Polizzotti vibrantly reframes the Surrealist movement in contemporary terms and offers insight into why it continues to inspire makers and consumers of art, literature, and culture.
Polizzotti shows how many forms of popular media can thank Surrealism for their existence, including Monty Python, Theatre of the Absurd, and trends in fashion, film, and literature. While discussing the movement’s iconic figures—including André Breton, Leonora Carrington, Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Man Ray, and Dorothea Tanning—he also broadens the traditionally French and male-focused narrative, constructing a more diverse and global representation. And he addresses how the Surrealists grappled with ideas that mirror current concerns, including racial and economic injustice, sexual politics, issues of identity, labor unrest, and political activism. Why Surrealism Matters provides a concise, engaging exploration of how, a century later, the “Surrealist revolution” remains as dynamic as ever.
Mark Polizzotti is an award-winning writer and translator. His previous books include Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton and Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto, as well as many translations from the French.
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