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Title: Being Two: The Individual as Response in Surrealism’s Partner Collaborations (1919-1935)
Authors: Richter, Lindsey
Advisors: Rentzou, Efthymia
Contributors: French and Italian Department
Keywords: Collaboration
Illustrated books
Subjects: French literature
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation argues that the Surrealists’ collaborative practices reveal the formation of the self out of the collective, and that the coauthored books produced through collaboration imagine a relationship between self and other in the shared lyrical subject and the dialog of text and image. Surrealism’s collaborative work, often seen as primarily politically motivated or as a pursuit of the unconscious, participates in its broader project of redefining the human being. In the early years of the movement, beginning with these writers’ and artists’ engagement with Dada in the late 1910s, artworks that leveraged the collectivity were understood as a kind of anonymous voice or universal consciousness. By the late 1920s, the concept of collaborative work as erasure of the self was evolving, allowing for a stronger expression of individuality, especially in the art book collaborations that allowed for the creative freedom of both poet and artist. Poet Paul Eluard (1895-1952), a member of Surrealism from its inception, participated in some of the seminal co-authored poetry collections of the movement, and produced art and poetry collaborations with key surrealist artists such as Man Ray and Salvador Dali. Through research into the practices behind Eluard’s poetic collaborations, this study traces the reconceptualization of the lyrical subject as an individuality that arises from the pair. Close readings of two art and poetry collections from the year 1935 build on analysis of Eluard’s theoretical writings on the term resemblance, which he understood as the offering of the body to the world. Framing the addressee as a plurality, images and verses rethink the connection between self and other in terms of mutual contact that shapes both. By looking at Surrealism’s reversal of the transcendental ego distinct form the world, this dissertation shows their response to the rise of mass society, explored through partner book collaborations.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:French and Italian

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