By Andre Breton

Nadja is considered the first and best surrealist novels ever written.

For those of you who don’t know what surrealism is, it is basically the literary movement to achieve “true” thought by allowing the mind to basically say whatever it needs to say without censoring it based on what we think a story should be or what we should or should not say, culturally, religiously… you get the idea.

This is the story of a man who meets a woman named Nadja who captures his interest. The book is divided into three sections:

1. 1. This first section is all about things that “haunt” the author- basically, things that he finds interesting or thought-provoking or that have just been on his mind. There are even pictures.

2. 2. This section is where he meets Nadja. He loves the way she thinks about things, the way she uses her imagination and the way she allows thoughts to flow freely. But then he starts to find this boring and frustrating (the exact same way we find the entire first section). He then finds out she is mentally ill and, since their meeting, has been institutionalized.

3. 3. This last section is all about arrogance and delusion. Breton is convinced that his lack of love for Nadja was what made her go crazy (rather than any inherent condition) but then goes on a seriously long tirade against the mental health field and basically claims that people are institutionalized if they are considered different (which, to be fair, was somewhat true during Breton’s life) and that the mentally ill are in touch with a more honest reality than the rest of us (having worked at a mental institution where kids shit their pants and try to hang themselves from trees while angrily shouting the name of another patient who is not there and also who masturbate compulsively to calm down--- I am not sure I want to know about this honest reality).

Here’s the thing: surrealism is basically uncensored rambling with some pretty or interesting phrases thrown in here and there and Andre Breton is incredibly egotistical.

So, if we understand this to be the best surrealist novel ever written... I can only imagine the joys of the worst.

No comments:

Post a Comment

did you read the book? what did you think?

Elegant de BlogMundi