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Nadja Cover Image
By André Breton, Richard Howard (Translator)
ISBN: 9780802150264
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Grove Press - January 11th, 1994

Equal parts love story, artwork, case study and autobiography, Breton’s most famous work of fiction applies surrealist principles of composition to narrative form. Nadja, the object of the narrator’s obsessive love, might be a distorted mirror of the author or a cipher for the city of Paris; her madness and indigence also make her the embodiment of a surrealist ideal. In this second work of fiction ever to appear with embedded photographs, the images interrupt and dispute the text, rather than merely illustrating it. The proximity between surrealism and psychoanalysis looms large. Breton’s self-scrutiny inverts the psychoanalytic insight that the self is haunted by the history of its love objects: to know who we are, he begins, we must know whom we haunt… The question is comforting and unsettling by turns: who in this world is haunted by me--and do the spectral memories of me they carry around augment or diminish my presence? Breton’s avant-garde story of doomed love is a must-read for all those who have been housed in and ghosted by those they love.