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On the Thirteenth Stroke of Midnight: Surrealist Poetry in Britain [Paperback]

Michel Remy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

31 Oct 2013
This book, the first published anthology of British surrealist poetry, takes its title from Herbert Read's words when he opened the Surrealist Poems and Objects exhibition at the London Gallery at midnight on 24 November 1937. Within a few years the Second World War would effectively fragment the British surrealist movement, dispersing its key members and leaving the surrealist flame flickering only in isolated moments and places. Yet British surrealist writing was vibrant and, at its best, durable, and now takes its place in the wider European context of literary surrealism.

On the Thirteenth Stroke of Midnight includes work by Emmy Bridgwater, Jacques B. Brunius, Ithell Colquhoun, Hugh Sykes Davies, Toni del Renzio, Anthony Earnshaw, David Gascoyne, Humphrey Jennings, Sheila Legge, Len Lye, Conroy Maddox, Reuben Mednikoff, George Melly, E.L.T. Mesens, Desmond Morris, Grace Pailthorpe, Roland Penrose, Edith Rimmington, Roger Roughton, Simon Watson Taylor and John W. Welson. Many of the poems are published here for the first time. The book also reproduces key manifestos produced by the British surrealists, and includes illuminating introductory essays, a detailed chronology, biographical notes on the writers, and a bibliography. Illustrated throughout with drawings by Bridgwater, Colquhoun, Earnshaw, Maddox, Morris, Rimmington and Welson, this anthology is a fascinating record of a neglected strand of British poetry from the 1930s to the 1980s. British surrealist writing is at last given a chance to voice its subversion.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Carcanet Press Ltd (31 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847771092
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847771094
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 203,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Michel Remy is Professor of English Literature and Art History at the University of Nice and the leading authority on British Surrealism. He has published four books and over fifty articles on the subject. His anthology On the Thirteenth Stroke of Midnight: An Anthology of Surrealist Poetry in Britain (Carcanet, 2013) can be considered as a companion volume to his Surrealism in Britain (Lund Humphries, 2001), the first comprehensive study of the movement and its achievements.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surrealist Albion 14 Oct 2013
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I'm a great admirer of British Surrealism, a movement unfairly regarded as inferior to and derivative of the Continental model. I've always been fascinated by the way influences can be twisted and mutated into something new ... in the words of a wonderful manifesto by James S. Adams of musical collective BLK w/ BEAR: "We champion delay and decay ... and misappropriated realignments."
The British Surrealist movement didn't last long officially (but lived on in the work of J.G. Ballard, for instance and bubbles away beneath the surface even now in the art and music of Steven Stapleton and his Nurse With Wound), but for a moment it illuminated this damp little island and left echoes in the work of such figures as Paul Nash and Henry Moore
This very interesting new book, 'On The Thirteenth Stroke of Midnight: Surrealist Poetry in Britain', published by Carcanet Press, contains a wonderful selection of work by a wide group of writers and painters, including some of my favourite (and unjustly obscure) artists such as Ithell Colquhoun, Emmy Bridgwater and Edith Rimmington ... who prove to be as provocative with words as with imagery - outside of the academy, these women were true inheritors of Blake's subversion and spirit. With any luck, it will spark some new interest in a forgotten corner of British culture and some fine artists.
Surrealism in Britain A Short Survey of Surrealism Homotopy to Marie
... Read more ›
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