"Paris Peasant" (1926) is one of the central works of Surrealism, yet Exact Change's edition is the first U.S. publication of Simon Watson Taylor's authoritative translation, completed after consultations with the author. Unconventional in form--Aragon consciously avoided recognizable narration or character development--"Paris Peasant" is, in the author's words, "a mythology of the modern." The book uses the city of Paris as a stage or framework, and Aragon interweaves his text with images of related ephemera: cafe menus, maps, inscriptions on monuments and newspaper clippings. A detailed description of a Parisian arcade (nineteenth-century precursor to the mini-mall) and another of the Buttes-Chaumont park, are among the great set pieces within Aragon's swirling prose of philosophy, dream and satire. Andre Breton wrote of this work: "no one could have been a more astute detector of the unwonted in all its forms; no one else could have been carried away by such intoxicating reveries about a sort of secret life of the city. . . ."
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PREFACE TO A MODERN MYTHOLOGY
THE PASSAGE DE LOPERA
A FEELING FOR NATURE
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19th ARRONDISSEMENT abstract already Aragon arcades bar counter become Belvedere beneath blond boredom Boulevard Haussmann Breton Buttes-Chaumont cafe canes caresses Certa charming Chauchat colour concrete customers Dada darkness decor desire divine door dream error everything existence eyes face fact feeling feet fingers Galerie du Thermometre garden hair hairdresser hand head heart Hegel human idea imagination invented kind knoll lake light logic look metaphysics mind mystery myth nature never night notion Ourcq Paris Peasant park Passage de l'Opera path Paul Eluard Petit Grillon philately Philippe Soupault pleasure Porte reality reason Robert Desnos Rue Botzaris Rue de Crimee Rue Fessart Rue Manin Saint-Ferdinand seems sense shadow side sophism sort spirit statue strange suddenly surrealism surrealist Theatre Moderne thing thought Veloute vertigo Villette vulgar walk What's whole Wing woman women words