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Willard Bohn (ed.), Surrealist Poetry: An Anthology [Book review]

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-12-13, 02:05 authored by Gavin Yates
In his Introduction to Surrealist Poetry, Willard Bohn begins by quoting Anna Balakian’s resounding statement that surrealism is “the major poetic and artistic current of the twentieth century” (1). Surrealism is recognised not only for developing such radical artistic expression, but also for its vastly ambitious stance as a movement that once claimed, through the “omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought,” to possess the ability to “destroy all other psychic mechanisms” and “take their place in resolving the principal problems of life” (3). This proclamation from the Manifeste du surréalisme (1924) is indicative of André Breton’s revolutionary approach to poetry and to life—an impetus that remains critical for surrealism in all its manifestations.


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Book review