Liberty Or Love

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Atlas Press, 1993 - Fiction - 132 pages
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"In those days, my door was open to mystery". So speaks the hero of Desnos' novel: Sanglot the Corsair. Mystery, the marvellous, a city transmuted by love, Sanglot's pursuit of the siren Louise Lame, such are the essential ingredients of this the last masterpiece of early Surrealism to remain untranslated into English. It was originally published in 1924 to immediate and lasting acclaim - except from the public authorities who immediately censored whole sections (here restored). Impossible to describe a novel of such virtuosity and bravura, and one which consistently refuses to behave as one expects, characters appear and vanish according to whim or desire, they walk underwater, nonchalantly accept astounding coincidences. It's a hymn to the erotic, an adventure story darkly illumined by the shades of Sade, Lautreamont and Jack the Ripper, a dream both violent and tender, an obsession, in fact the perfect embodiment of the Surrealist spirit: at once joyful, despairing, and effortlessly scandalous.

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