About the Book
A series of personal and historical encounters with surrealism from one of its foremost practitioners in the United States.
"Penelope Rosemont has given us, better than anyone else in the English language, a marvelous, meticulous exploration of the surrealist experience, in all its infinite variety."—Gerome Kamrowski, American Surrealist Painter
One of the hallmarks of Surrealism is the encounter, often by chance, with a key person, place, or object through a trajectory no one could have predicted. Penelope Rosemont draws on a lifetime of such experiences in her collection of essays, Surrealism: Inside the Magnetic Fields. From her youthful forays as a radical student in Chicago to her pivotal meeting with André Breton and the Surrealist Movement in Paris, Rosemont—one of the movement's leading exponents in the United States—documents her unending search for the Marvelous.
Surrealism finds her rubbing shoulders with some of the movement's most important visual artists, such as Man Ray, Leonora Carrington, Mimi Parent, and Toyen; discussing politics and spectacle with Guy Debord; and crossing paths with poet Ted Joans and outsider artist Lee Godie. The book also includes scholarly investigations into American radicals like George Francis Train and Mary MacLane, the myth of the Golden Goose, and Dada precursor Emmy Hennings.
Praise for Surrealism:
"Rosemont is not delivering dry abstractions, as so many academic 'specialists,' but telling us about warm and exciting human encounters, illuminated by the subversive spirit of Permanent Enchantment."—Michael Löwy, author of Ecosocialism
"This compelling and well-drawn book lets us see the adventures, inspirations, and relationships that have shaped Penelope Rosemont's art and rebellion."—David Roediger, author of Class, Race, and Marxism
"The broad sampling of essays included here offer a compelling entry point for curious readers and an essential compendium for surrealist practitioners."—Abigail Susik, professor of art history, Willamette University
"Rosemont's welcome memoir has a double virtue, as testament to the enduring radiance of Surrealism, and as a memento to the Sixties, revealing a sweetly beating wonderment at the heart of that absurdly maligned decade."—Jed Rasula, author of Destruction Was My Beatrice: Dada and the Unmaking of the Twentieth Century
"Artist, historian, and social activist, Rosemont writes from the inside out. Like a rare, hybrid flower growing out of the earth, she complicates, expands, and opens the strange and beautiful meadow where Surrealism continues to live and thrive.”—Sabrina Orah Mark, author of Wild Milk
"In this wide-ranging collection of essays, Penelope Rosemont, long a keeper of surrealism's revolutionary flame, shows how a penetrating look into the past can liberate the future."—Andrew Joron, author of The Absolute Letter
"Rosemont recreates the feverish antics and immediate reception her close-knit, sleep-deprived, beat-attired squad find in the established, moray-breaking Parisian and international surrealists. Revolution is here, between the covers."—Gillian Conoley, author of A Little More Red Sun on the Human: New and Selected Poems and translator of Thousand Times Broken: Three Books by Henri Michaux