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Claude Cahun: The Soldier with No Name Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Claude Cahun turned out to be a Surrealist writer and photographer, at the heart of the movement yet keeping a distance, which maybe accounted for her relative obscurity - obscure not only to me, I gather. Looking up her name on Amazon, I discovered quite a number of books on her, mostly published after the turn of the millennium, some books of her photography, some her own writings, some academic analyses; all of them substantial and expensive. So where better to start than this extended introductory essay?
I found it elegantly produced, as all Zero books are, and elegantly written. Both Bower's novels have their own distinct style, fitted to their themes and subjects; this also has its particular style and approach.
It certainly has an academic heft to it, a convincing authority. But it is also convincingly personal, describing Bower's own discovery of Cahun's peculiar work and her unconventional and surprisingly heroic life. This combination of fascinating subject and personal engagement is what made the book so readable for me, enabling me to share that same sense of discovery.
And it was a very welcome discovery; after years of familiarity with Surrealism in both its literary and arts forms, it was refreshing to discover someone - and a woman at that - who combined both forms, produced some stunning imagery, not least of which was her own persona, stood up the Pope (Breton) and even more importantly, to the Nazis on the occupied Channel Isles.Read more ›
Little has been written about Cahun's literary output. Bower asserts that Cahun's essays in Aveux Non Avenus are `layered and at the same time unclassifiable'. The same can be said of Cahun herself. Bower in his short essay captures the essence of the troubled writer Cahun, her struggle with self. He paints a complex character, someone worthy of investigation.
'Claude Cahun: The Soldier With No Name' offers a fascinating insight into one of history's forgotten women and suggests it's time for a literary revival of Cahun's work.
Bower argues a good case as to why we should know more about Claude Cahun. This is a meticulous and deft exploration of Cahun as both woman and writer and Bower tackles the subject with a passion that will convince the reader of Cahun's extraordinary artistic merit.
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