One of the very few Americans welcomed into the Surrealist Movement
in Paris by André Breton himself, Penelope Rosemont has been
a quickening force in world surrealism since the 1960s. As painter,
photographer and collagist, she has taken part in surrealist exhibitions
throughout the world, and her art has been widely reproduced. Praised
by such poets as Octavio Paz, Joyce Mansour, David Gascoyne, Dennis
Brutus and Veronica Volkow, her poetry has been translated into
many languages. Widely hailed as definitive, her breakthrough collection,
Surrealist Women: An International Anthology (University
of Texas Press, 1998), introduced English-speaking readers to scores
of women surrealists heretofore ignored by critics and scholars.
Experiences: 1001 Dawns, 221 Midnights is Penelope Rosemont's
first book of articles and essays. It includes nearly two dozen
texts originally published in surrealist journals from 1970 through
the '90s, plus eleven that appear here for the first time.
on fortuitous encounters and their many-sided magic, Rosemont
in these essays explores the importance of play, the affinities
of alchemy and anarchy, poetry in the comics, the revolutionary
significance of a fairy tale, the game of Time-Travelers' Potlatch,
and the future of surrealism.
striking is the account of her own discoveries on the magnetic fields
of surrealist automatism, including the Alchemigram, the Landscapade
and the Prehensilhouette. Rosemont also takes us on a breathtaking
excursion to Chicago's Maxwell Street open-air fleamarket in the
Sixties; retrieves fascinating "lost voices" (George Francis Train,
Mary MacLane and others) from oblivion; discusses the impact on
surrealism of such writers as Nancy Cunard and African American
poet Ted Joans; and acquaints us with some of her remarkable painter
friends (Toyen, Mimi Parent, Lee Godie).
book concludes with a powerful "rant" against work and its ideological
pillars: white supremacy, sexism and miserabilism.
ardent defender of all that is most liberating in the revolutionary
traditionfrom Robin Hood to the L.A. RebellionRosemont
is also a passionate defender of love, wilderness, and the poetic
life. In these writings, critical theory embraces the "language
of birds," and poetic humor reveals the open secrets of revolutionary
thought at its wildest and brightest.