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Potomac Books

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The Lost Steps, The Lost Steps, 0803212429, 0-8032-1242-9, 978-0-8032-1242-8, 9780803212428, Andre Breton Translated with an introduction by Mark Polizzotti Foreword by Mary Ann Caws , French Modernist Library, The Lost Steps, 0803228147, 0-8032-2814-7, 978-0-8032-2814-6, 9780803228146, Andre Breton Translated with an introduction by Mark Polizzotti Foreword by Mary Ann Caws , French Modernist Librar

The Lost Steps
André Breton
Translated with an introduction by Mark Polizzotti
Foreword by Mary Ann Caws

hardcover
1996. 135 pp.
978-0-8032-1242-8
$19.95 x
Out of Stock
 
paperback
2010. 160 pp.
978-0-8032-2814-6
$19.95 s
 

The Lost Steps (Les Pas perdus) is André Breton’s first collection of critical and polemical essays. Composed between 1917 and 1923, these pieces trace his evolution during the years when he was emerging as a central figure in French (and European) intellectual life. They chronicle his tumultuous passage through the Dada movement, proclaim his explosive views on Modernism and its heroes, and herald the emergence of Surrealism itself. Along the way, we are given Breton’s serious commentaries on his Modernist predecessors, Guillaume Apollinaire and Alfred Jarry, followed by his not-so-serious Dada manifestoes.

Also included are portraits of Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, and Breton’s mysterious friend Jacques Vaché, as well as a crisis-by-crisis account of his dealing with Dada’s leader, Tristan Tzara. Finally, Breton offers a first glimpse of Surrealism, the movement that was forever after identified with his name and that stands as a defining force in twentieth-century aesthetics.


Mark Polizzotti, editorial director of David R. Godine, Publisher, is the author of Revolution of the Mind: The Life of André Breton. He is also the translator of Jean Echenoz’s Double Jeopardy (Nebraska 1994) and Cherokee (Nebraska 1994) and of André Breton’s Conversations: The Autobiography of Surrealism.

Mary Ann Caws is Distinguished Professor of French at Hunter College and at the City University of New York. Her most recent work is Robert Motherwell: What Art Holds. She is the translator of André Breton’s Mad Love (Nebraska 1987) and Communicating Vessels (Nebraska 1990).


“The essays show Breton at his most spontaneous, ‘in a state of perfect readiness,’ ever receptive to new experiences, seeking way so unshackling the unconscious, and very much attuned to the ‘new spirit’ he discerns. Several are indispensable to a full understanding of surrealism and its genesis. Mary Ann Caws and Mark Polizzotti provide apt and useful introductions, and the accompanying notes clarify references and word plays. The translation is careful and idiomatic.”—Choice.
 

“To this day, no one quite knows what Surrealism was, but this collection of essays by Breton, first published in 1924 when he was 28, is a good starting-point for trying to find out.”—The Times (London)


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