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Nadja (1928)

by André Breton

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1,842137,571 (3.47)47
Nadja, originally published in France in 1928, is the first and perhaps best Surrealist romance ever written, a book which defined that movement's attitude toward everyday life.The principal narrative is an account of the author's relationship with a girl in the city of Paris, the story of an obsessional presence haunting his life. The first-person narrative is supplemented by forty-four photographs which form an integral part of the work--pictures of various 'surreal' people, places, and objects which the author visits or is haunted by in Nadja's presence and which inspire him to meditate on their reality or lack of it.… (more)
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» See also 47 mentions

English (10)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Ok, I keep picking on Breton. He's always struck me as a pompous, overbearing bore. But then how wd I know? It's not like I met the guy. "Nadja" was probably my favorite bk by him. Nonetheless, I remember being mainly bored. I don't think I'll blame it on the translator, Richard Howard, b/c this is an Evergreeen Original & I take it for granted they do a good job. ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or will not be at all.

I found this artful. It worked on a cloudy Friday, a holiday from work. Shorn of ambition and venturing out for a pint (or two) of Czech pilsner. A man of letters encounters a beguiling woman. Something like synchronicity develops, though with blurred edges that suggest a chemical imbalance.

This brief novel reaches out to other works, other authors. There are plenty of photographs and drawings from the mysterious Nadja. The capricious perforations denote the surrealist logic. Nadja is a lodestar in milieu where the masses froth and scream for prophets and assassins. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Nadja is Andre Breton’s second book, originally published in 1928 and is apparently the first surrealist romance novel. Breton, the founder of surrealism, seems to have based some of the story on a short relationship in Paris with a woman who perhaps later went mad and was institutionalized. Included are photographs of places in Paris that Breton found as surreal or that he visited with Nadja. There are also some drawings she made for him. It’s difficult to tell what’s real and isn’t – which was Breton’s point I assume. My favorite quote: “There is no use being alive if one must work.” That’s pretty real. ( )
1 vote Hagelstein | Jul 19, 2017 |
Somewhere inside this rambling recounting is an encounter between the author and a woman whose spirit is free to the point of being labeled crazy. There are some interesting musings in there, but overall it is just plain confusing. ( )
  sushicat | Jan 14, 2016 |
Having read the blurb, and then done a little internet checking, I was determined NOT to like this book. It seems that this is a merge of truth and fiction and that Breton did not treat the lady involved in this love story well: not to mention his wife, whom he kept updated upon the affair!

My ire dissipated, however, when faced with such beautiful prose. I reasoned that all parties are now safe from the pain of the story and that Breton himself will get no kudos from a good review (notice the supreme egotism there? Even were Breton to still be alive, the prospect of him eagerly awaiting Ken Petersen's opinion of his opus is too absurd for contemplation).

The book is 160 pages long but, when blank pages and a host of, disappointingly dark, photographs are removed, the text is little more than an hour's reading - even at my pedestrian pace. I would suggest that, if you have a full understanding of this tale, then Surrealism will be a piece of cake but, of course, if you think that you understand surrealism, you are, almost certainly, wrong!

I am sorry to all the ladies who, probably correctly, feel that I should be harder upon this book: I simply suggest that you read it and see if the literary style does not mitigate the social faux pas. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Sep 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (33 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
André Bretonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bohrer, Karl HeinzAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fleckhaus, WillyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwibs, BerndTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Nadja, originally published in France in 1928, is the first and perhaps best Surrealist romance ever written, a book which defined that movement's attitude toward everyday life.The principal narrative is an account of the author's relationship with a girl in the city of Paris, the story of an obsessional presence haunting his life. The first-person narrative is supplemented by forty-four photographs which form an integral part of the work--pictures of various 'surreal' people, places, and objects which the author visits or is haunted by in Nadja's presence and which inspire him to meditate on their reality or lack of it.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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