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Mad Love [Paperback]

Andre Breton , Mary Ann Caws
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 19.50
Price: CDN$ 14.24 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Oct. 1 1988 French Modernist Library
Mad Love has been acknowledged an undisputed classic of the surrealist movement since its first publication in France in 1937. Its adulation of love as both mystery and revelation places it in the most abiding of literary traditions, but its stormy history and technical difficulty have prevented it from being translated into English until now. 

"There has never been any forbidden fruit. Only temptation is divine," writes André Breton, leader of the surrealists in Paris in the 1920s and '30s. Mad Love is dedicated to defying "the widespread opinion that love wears out, like the diamond, in its own dust." Celebrating breton's own love and lover, the book unveils the marvelous in everyday encounters and the hidden depths of ordinary things.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Breton, father of the surrealist movement, saw that the basic problem of making a living could interfere with love as well as poetry. Love, for the French poet, had to be transformed into a powerful emotion that put the lover in touch with the marvelous. The focus of this transformation, in his own case, was artist Jacqueline Lamba, with whom he lived in New York, Mexico and Marseilles. L'Amour fou (1937) is convoluted and stilted when it sets forth his surrealist philosophy of "mad love," romantic and sometimes incandescently lyrical when it presents autobiographical reminiscences. Included is a moving letter Breton wrote to his daughter ("I want you to be madly loved"). This first English-language translation of the surrealist text is also the first volume in the French Modernist Library.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

In this definitional essay of 1936, Breton, then 40, indulged in another explicit, autobiographical illustration of Surrealism. Despite his title, he does not sacramentalize sex; rather, he evokes special moments in his life since Nadja (1928), epiphanies intensified by his receptive search for instructive, fortuitous juxtapositions. He concludes with a letter to his eight-month-old daughter, whose appealing infancy stimulates his most tender and vehement thoughts on humankind. Translator Caws provides a masterly introduction and annotation, and the original visuals are nicely reproduced: six photographs by Man Ray, three by Brasai, and one each by Cartier-Bression, Dora Maer, and Rogi Andre. Marilyn Gaddis Rose, Comparative Literature Dept., SUNY at Binghamton
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Convulsive-Beauty Masterpiece Aug. 7 2001
By Jessica
Format:Paperback
Andre Breton's Mad Love is truly a work of art.Written in a surrealist manner it celebrates love and lovers. It finds beauty in such ordinary things such as iron masks, spoons, and trees. Never has there been another book that promotes romanticism such as this. Bravo Breton! You have made me proud to be a person in a monogomous relationship. It is a true celebration of the heart and of the soul.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars pretty genius Feb. 9 2005
By Bryan Manning - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I found it fairly difficult to make it through most of this book. I should add, difficult yet rewarding. The first few sections reminded me of "Nadja" with their seemingly meaningless description of mundane activities. As I went through the book I realized, as I did with "Nadja," that these opening chapters are essential to establishing both the attitude and ideas of the story. As I got further and further into it I found that the concepts where easier to grasp and the text easier to read and I must admit that I was frustrated with the fist part of the book and certain other parts that I felt were irrelevant to the subject or just plain annoying. But as I finished the last chapter it all came together for me and I felt the entire concept and reasoning of the book was elucidated in the end. A book I probably would have given 3 stars to for the first half surprised me with its beauty and genius in the end.

This book is essentially essays and ideas elucidating Breton's concept of "Mad Love." It was written for his love interest at the time and some parts of the book include her or speak of and to her but a lot of it is directed to the reader. His beautiful imagery and abstract description drag the reader through his bizarre ideas. As the "story" (there really is no narrative in this book) builds on itself and the essence of the blossoms in your mind, you just might find yourself with a new idea of love. In the end I felt very rewarded with this new idea of love and almost felt like a better person for it.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Surrealists or Andre Breton. I do not recommend this for people looking for an easy read or people who haven't read any other Breton.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Convulsive-Beauty Masterpiece Aug. 7 2001
By Jessica - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Andre Breton's Mad Love is truly a work of art.Written in a surrealist manner it celebrates love and lovers. It finds beauty in such ordinary things such as iron masks, spoons, and trees. Never has there been another book that promotes romanticism such as this. Bravo Breton! You have made me proud to be a person in a monogomous relationship. It is a true celebration of the heart and of the soul.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MAY YOU LOVE MADLY Oct. 22 2012
By Seesaw-Books - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Monotonous and banal is what one Norwegian reader claims this story to be and nothing will change his opinion. Sad point of view that misses the mark and the underlying message of this magical book on a quest for what may save a world about to collapse... Is Andre Breton really "bombastic, dull, overrated"? The story is hard to follow because its very personal but he is always telling of objects, events that are meant to make the reader see...
What? Find out by yourself. Even if Breton's style might be long, baroque, intricate and slowly winding through the pages, the message is a thunderbolt: a clean deep powerful thought on what life really can offer anyone who wishes to love someone unconditionally. Sounds romantic or boring? Ask your love.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of fun! Jan. 31 2014
By Is It The Shoes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My friend and I literally spent twenty minutes taking turns kicking a copy of this book until it was in pieces.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Monotonous and Banal Work Dec 9 2013
By Bartok Kinski - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Breton, the overrated, dull and inept absolutist leader of the "so-called iconoclastic" surrealists was not as bombastic as people who worship him would have you believe. This 'work', merely an arranged compendium of useless episodes and scenes, is completey boring and without any enrichment, all it does is tire the reader. The style is marginally academic, that is to say, it is written in long, flaccid sentences with too much self-exaltation included.

I was bored by the entire book, Breton imagines that it was revolutionary to write about fractured and obtuse occurrences which have nothing to do with anything except his own idea of importance. He meanders through pretentious descriptions which are trite. Don't be fooled by his sycophantic adherents who believe that he actually "invented" surrealism and art. I'd rather read the true ramblings of a madman than this ordure.
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