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Cover for Surreal Lives

Surreal Lives

The Surrealists 1917-1945

Ruth Brandon


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In the years following World War I, a small group of writers, painters, and filmmakers called the Surrealists set out to change the way we perceive the world. In Surreal Lives, Ruth Brandon follows the lives and interactions of such firecracker minds as the movement's didactic Pope, Andre Breton, and the ambitious and manic Salvador Dali, as well as Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Tristan Tzara, Man Ray, Max Ernst, and filmmaker Luis Bunuel. It charts their shifting allegiances, and their ties to muses and patrons like Gala Dali and Peggy Guggenheim. Ruth Brandon spins the many stories of Surrealism with wit, energy, and insight, bringing sharp analysis to an eccentric cast of characters whose struggles and achievements came to mirror and define the way the world changed between the wars. Fascinating, impassioned... admirable for] the masterly storytelling, the richness of anecdotal incident, the keen reporting of intellectual enthusiasms and artistic collaborations, and the panorama of a spectacular cultural galaxy. -- The New York Times Book Review; Superbly entertaining... A cousin to Malcolm Cowley's Exile's Return. -- Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World; A lively and absorbing complement to the Surrealists'] work. -- The New Yorker.

Grove Press, 9780802137272, 554pp.

Publication Date: August 1, 2000