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Nadja (Collection Folio; 73) [Mass Market Paperback]

Andre Breton
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: £7.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

1 May 1973 Collection Folio; 73 (Book 73)
"Nadja, " originally published in France in 1928, is the first and perhaps best Surrealist romance ever written, a book which defined that movement's attitude toward everyday life.

The principal narrative is an account of the author's relationship with a girl in teh city of Paris, the story of an obsessional presence haunting his life. The first-person narrative is supplemented by forty-four photographs which form an integral part of the work -- pictures of various "surreal" people, places, and objects which the author visits or is haunted by in naja's presence and which inspire him to mediate on their reality or lack of it. "The Nadja of the book is a girl, but, like Bertrand Russell's definition of electricity as "not so much a thing as a way things happen, " Nadja is not so much a person as the way she makes people behave. She has been described as a state of mind, a feeling about reality, k a kind of vision, and the reader sometimes wonders whether she exists at all. yet it is Nadja who gives form and structure to the novel.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Frequently Bought Together

Nadja (Collection Folio; 73) + Manifestes Du Surrealisme (Folio/essais) + Le Bleu Du Ciel
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Gallimard (1 May 1973)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 2070360733
  • ISBN-13: 978-2070360734
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 10.8 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Andre Breton, poet and writer, was the founder of the Surrealist movement in France, and is remembered as being its heart and soul. He died in 1966.

Mark Polizzotti is a writer and translator, and also works in an editorial capacity for David Godine Publishers in the US.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most accessible surrealist texts 5 Dec 1999
This is one of the most important and underead books of the century. Standing alongside Joyce, Aragon and Durrell as a writer of place Breton writes of a Paris that is anti-monumental and anti-romantic by turns. This is not a gentle read. The relationship between the narrator and Najda leaves you stranded amoungst the disenchantment that is typical of surrealism, as opposed to the romanticism of popular-surrealism, whilst she ends up broken in an insane asylum he marvels at the surrealists survival. She 'lacked an instinct of self presevation...'
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nadja 19 Jun 2007
Books such as this, overflowing with ambiguity, should be approached two ways:

The first is with an open mind, at which in this instance, you are (providing Breton's rambling 60 page introduction doesn't bore you off) inevitably about to fall head over heels for the unusual, multi-faceted character; `Nadja'!

Yet what Nadja is; her identity, although alluring, is the voice in the back of our heads, that we silence each day that we participate in everyday life. She is the character that would not conform, freedom in purest essence, the presence that will leave shadows upon the lives of each person she meets, until inescapably stripped of her character by the ignorant minds who misinterpret her.

The second is, like I, to enter this auto-biographical account of Breton's genius with a question, which instead of reading in between the lines, you will undoubtedly find yourself falling into great crevices of self, where journeys seem to flow like underground rivers.

I recommend this book to anyone who is either looking for a good read, or seeking answers to the deepest journeys of identity and the world.
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12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not surreal just poor 2 Oct 2009
By H. Tee
I spotted this book in the `cult classics' section of a local bookshop. I was immediately attracted to the surrealist cover (never judge a book by this) and the obvious inclusion throughout of old but interesting nonetheless b&w photos around Paris/France (around the period of the text 1920s). It is a short book even without about 30 sides of these stills. The introduction is very informative (almost biographical) about the author and his relationship with Nadja. Obvious point but I read the English translation so wouldn't be able to relate how good the original would be, or how badly the translation may or may not have contributed to the overall effect on the surrealist style of writing. For it's length the rrp at £10 is not cheap.

Now, I didn't find this a `surrealist' novel at all (I'm no literary expert or art critic) but it had no drama, colour, alternative perspectives or parallels - to be clear I wasn't expecting nonsense or some random thoughts but I hoped for a tale out of the ordinary - a Dali with words perhaps: it is not that sort of book. This is a book about an author trying to produce a new style of writing based on what was clearly a challenging relationship (a week of being 'in love') with the real Nadja. My problem and perhaps your problem if you have high expectations based on the 5 star reviews saying it is the `best example of' is that ultimately the style just comes across as plain poor and disconnected. I have never read a story where I felt I needed to re-read the previous sentence then decide I needed to go back to the previous then some more and so on;- it's not that it's difficult or thought-provoking, it's just disorganised and confusing. The story hidden within the soup of text isn't that good either.
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