Synopses & Reviews
Are women’s orgasms more intense than men’s? What did André Breton think of homosexuality? Can love be separated from physical desire?
In 1928 a group of surrealist writers and artists held twelve round table discussions to address these questions. Calling them “researches into sexuality,” their bizarre and humorous conversations are now made available in this new edition in all their surreal and salacious detail. Their research spanned the most critical period for surrealism, a time of bitter political disputes, echoed in the intensity of these meetings and in the range of participants, including André Breton, Paul Eluard, Yves Tanguy, Benjamin Péret and Pierre Naville.
Well before the so-called sexual revolution, their erotic exchanges broke sexual taboos and encouraged surrealists to openly share the libidinal themes they explored in their writing and art. In doing so, JoAnn Wypijewski writes in the new introduction, they are revealed as “lovers and prigs, fantasists and humanists, adventurers in mind if not always in flesh—flawed, foolish, brilliant, clangingly sexual human beings.”
"The surrealist's approach to sexuality was original and important ... I feel this book will amaze us all." George Melly
"These discussions are absolutely fascinating." Kathy Acker, author of < i=""> Blood and Guts in High School <>
These discussions are absolutely fascinating. Kathy Acker, author of < i=""> Blood and Guts in High School <>
In January 1928, the surrealists initiated their remarkable "researches into sexuality" with a series of round-table conversations involving key figures such as André Breton, Yves Tanguy, Louis Aragon, Man Ray, Max Ernst and Antonin Artaud. The transcripts, in all their bizarre and fascinating detail, are presented here. While there is plenty of humor--not all of it intentional--the speakers were trying scrupulously to record every aspect of sexual love, cataloguing preferences and positions, quality and quantity. This book is a unique historical record of sexual practice and ethics; a fundamental text for understanding the surrealist movement and, for all its idiosyncrasies, a document that still retains an extraordinary vitality today.
About the Author
José Pierre was a playwright, novelist and art historian. He belonged to the postwar Paris surrealist group that formed around André Breton. He was a member of Actual, an archive for the dissemination of the secret history of surrealism.