Jacques Vaché and the Roots of Surrealism: Including Vaché's War Letters & Other Writings

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Charles H. Kerr, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 388 pages
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The decade that gave the world Krazy Kat, Rube Goldberg, and Buster Keaton also marked the emergence of Jacques Vache. A bold jaywalker at the crossroads of history, and an ardent exemplar of freedom and revolt, Vache challenged all prevailing values, from church and state to white supremacy, and was especially gifted at the fine art of ridiculing the dominant ethics and aesthetics of the emerging age of imperialism. Conscripted into the French Army in World War One, he soon became not only the unsurpassed champion of "Desertion from Within," but also the master of "Disservice with Diligence." His post-humous slim book,War Letters (1919)--included in the present volume--is a classic of surrealiste anti-militarism and subversion. Renowned as the Inventor of Umour (Humour without the H), Vache was--along with Isidore Ducasse, Comte de Lautramont--the major inspirer of Andre Breton and the surrealist revolution. The first of its kind in English, this book chronicles Vaches boundless originality, creative nonconformity, revolutionary morality (or umoral-ity), and his all-out turn-the-world-upside-down hilarity.

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Contents

Growing up Bilingual
7
Dreams of Far Away
18
A Purposeless Chinese Secret Society in Australia
24
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Franklin Rosemont was born on October 2, 1943, in Chicago, Illinois. His father, Henry, was a labor activist, and mother, Sally, a jazz musician. He edited and wrote an introduction for What is Surrealism?: Selected Writings of Andre Breton, and edited Rebel Worker, Arsenal/Surrealist Subversion, THE RISE AND FALL OF THE DIL PICKLE and Juice Is Stranger Than Friction: Selected Writings of T-Bone Slim. With Penelope Rosemont and Paul Garon he edited THE FORECAST IS HOT!. His work has been deeply concerned with both the history of surrealism (writing a forward for Max Ernst and Alchemy: A Magician in Search of Myth) and of the radical labor movement in America, for instance, writing a biography of Joe Hill. He died on April 12, 2009, in Chicago.

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