Surrealism: Theater, Arts, Ideas

Surrealism: Theater, Arts, Ideas, iUniverse, 2001 (1st edition: Harper & Row Torchbook, 1972).

In 1925, a group of young Surrealists tried to establish a Theatre de la Tour Eiffel on one of the Tower’s landings.  They prepared an evening of comic performance for their gala opening, but at the last minute the Tower refused to rent them the space.  Still, the same heady atmosphere that might have been present in a theater high up on the Eiffel Tower remained part of the Surrealist art experience.  And in all the arts, the creations the Surrealist Movement were essentially theatrical (and cinematic).

The Surrealist Movement, which developed out of Dada a century ago, was the first strong statement of many tendencies dominant in the arts of the 21st century.  Surrealism art was concentrated in the artist and expressed his surrealist self; the audience was drawn into the artist’s identity by means of their common art experience.  The book explores surrealist lifestyles and philosophy.

Illustrated with surrealist paintings and sculptures, theater events, and film stills.
Includes an original translation of a newly discovered surrealist play, Free Entry (Entree Libre) by Roger Vitrac, 1922.

  • This able study takes the theatricality of the surrealist movement as a cue to assess its works – poetry and painting as well as drama and film – as specifically dramatic creations. Times Literary Supplement
  • A useful supplement to courses in surrealism, modern drama, and modern art. Choice
  • An unusually clear and sensitive examination of a subject little understood. The State Journal-Register, Springfield.
  • This slim volume makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of surrealism as an art form and as a philosophy of life. The Columbus Enquirer



chapters: Historical Background, Dada and Surrealism, The Surrealist Artist, Surrealist Art, The Surrealist Audience. Free Entry, translation of Entree Libre) by Roger Vitrac (1 act and 7 scenes).

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