The Rise of Surrealism

Cubism, Dada, and the Pursuit of the Marvelous

By Willard Bohn

Subjects: French Studies
Paperback : 9780791451601, 260 pages, October 2001
Hardcover : 9780791451595, 260 pages, November 2001

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations


1. Introduction

2. Probing the Fourth Dimension: Guillaume Apollinaire and Max Weber

3. The Demise of the Object: Francis Picabia and Marius de Zayas

4. Giorgio de Chirico and the Solitude of the Sign

5. From Surrealism to Surrealism: Guillaume Apollinaire and Andre Breton

6. The Surrealist Image in Literature and Art

7. An Extraordinary Voyage: J. V. Foix and Joan Miro

8. The Hour of the Sphinx: Andre Breton and Joan Miro

9. Coda




Examines the developments that paved the way for the Surrealist movement in literature and art.


In The Rise of Surrealism, Willard Bohn examines the various literary and artistic developments that prepared the way for the international Surrealist movement—including Cubism, Metaphysical Art, and Dada—as well as the triumph of Surrealism itself. In an analysis that spans the first two-thirds of the twentieth century, Bohn surveys writers and artists from France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, and the United States, examining both their aversion to mimesis and the solutions they devised to replace it. Much of the book is concerned with competing artistic models and with different strategies for creating avant-garde works, and focuses on such figures as Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Weber, Marius de Zayas, Francis Picabia, Giorgio de Chirico, André Breton, J. V. Foix, and Joan Miró. The dynamics of the imagery that painters and poets chose to employ and the new roles this imagery assumed in their compositions are also discussed.

Willard Bohn is Professor of Foreign Languages at Illinois State University. He has written several books, including Apollinaire and the International Avant-Garde, also published by SUNY Press, and Modern Visual Poetry, and he is the translator of The Dada Market: An Anthology of Poetry.


"This topic is significant for virtually all students of twentieth-century art and literature, in France and the West generally. A superb piece of scholarship. " — Robert W. Greene, author of Just Words: Moralism and Metalanguage in Twentieth-Century French Fiction

"Bohn takes up many of the most challenging, well-known, and lingering critical questions for students of Surrealism, and the reader comes away from the book having learned many important new things, along with the answers to several other, older problems. " — Stamos Metzidakis, coauthor and editor of Understanding French Poetry: Essays for a New Millennium