Cards on the Table

Mary Ann Caws

  • Robert Desnos, Surrealism, and the Marvellous in Everyday Life by Katharine Conley
    Nebraska, 270 pp, £37.95, March 2004, ISBN 0 8032 1523 1

This engrossing book sets out to claim something for its subject that no other English-language publication has even thought of. I do not believe that any among those of us who have written on Surrealism in general and on Robert Desnos in particular, admiring though we are of this poet who was the first to perform automatic sleep speaking (and always outperformed anyone and everyone at it) has wanted to make Conley’s claim, or indeed anything like it. So, were there nothing else to recommend it – which is very far from being the case – her book would still be worth noting and commenting on.

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