Saturday, November 17, 2012

Age of Surrealism

I aim to maintain a library of about 500 books -- "3D" books. Ebooks are another virtual matter altogether.

Here's one of the 500. Wallace Fowlie's Age of Surealism (The Swallow Press and William Morrow & Company, 1950).

Why do I keep this one? It's interesting in its own right, but I knew Professor Fowlie (1908-1998) in the 1980s and 1990s. He was still teaching at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, when I first spoke with him, after a lecture at the Durham Public Library.

The good professor was gregarious and open-minded. He knew or had known many people, a variety ranging from students and former students to veteran writers and artists (including Henry Miller and Anaïs Nin). He was particularly well versed in French culture. Age of Surrealism continues to speak. I'm still learning about its main topics, most lately through Jean Cocteau's works.

From the Table of Contets:

LAUTRÉAMONT: the temperament
RIMBAUD: the doctrine
MALLARMÉ: the myth (Hérodiade)
BRETON: the manifestoes
COCTEAU: the theatre
ELUARD: the doctrine on love
PICASSO: the art

All in all, Age of Surrealism continues to inspire curiosity; that plus having known the author is why this book remains one of "the 500." 

Today's Rune: Fertility.


the walking man said...

Nice book. has it prepared you for the reality of surrealism we are living in?

Charles Gramlich said...

It never occurred to me to set a limit on my library. More is better I have been thinking, but that is beginning to get a bit tough to maintain