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Arcanum 17 (Green Integer) Paperback – April 1, 2004


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Arcanum 17 (Green Integer) + Mad Love (French Modernist Library) + Nadja
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Product Details

  • Series: Green Integer (Book 96)
  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Green Integer (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931243271
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931243278
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 4.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,069,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Many French intellectuals who stayed in France greeted surrealist Breton's musings written from the near arctic reaches of Canada with some resentment when they first appeared in 1945. In fact, the book, although not one of his greatest works, may well have more resonance with contemporary audiences with its archetypes, goddesses, concern for nature and overall mystical bent. Like L'amour fou or Nadja , much of Arcanum 17 is a meditation on love but a tender lasting love for the concrete, rather tragic Elisa Bindhoff. Half-hidden among the dreams, soliloquys and recollections is the book's real purpose--to question the very way of being that had brought the world to such a horrible pass. Among the givens Breton calls on the carpet are logic, morality, time, death and most of all, masculine supremacy--"This crisis is so severe that I, myself, see only one solution: the time has come to value the ideas of woman at the expense of those of man, whose bankruptcy is coming to pass fairly tumultuously today." As Rogow points out in his helpful preface, the book's title is taken from the tarot, Arcanum 17 being the 17th card or star card, the signifier of renewal. Hints of the old interests (alchemy) and newer ones (Native American culture) mingle into a fluid and dynamic work by one of the most influential thinkers of the century.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Arcanum 17- a tarot card, called The Star, that is the 17th card in the Major Arcana- depicts a woman pouring superlunary forces into a mundane world. Analogic, decidedly feminist, and ahead of his time, Breton wrote this hymn of hope, renewal, and resurrection in the summer and fall of 1944 in Sainte Agathe in Gaspe, near Perce Rock where Breton joyfully vacationed with Elisa, who would become his third wife. His second wife, Jacqueline Lamba, had abandoned him, taking with her his beloved daughter. Thus, the poet saw a parallel between his own broken life and a war-ravaged Europe. But the solid, weather-beaten Perce Rock reminds him that nature renews herself and that death is only transitory. Appended in 1947, this book advocates a new internationalism to prevent war. Rogow's translation conveys Breton's enthusiasm and hope. Uplifting reading if the reader can appreciate Breton's analogic style.
Bob Ivey, Memphis State Univ.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kevin F. Dolan on February 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
Here is Breton exploring landscapes that remind him of where he is in relation to humanity and all that is dear to him. He has left a 'failed' relationship behind in Paris, and begins a final chapter in 'Surrealist Imagery' with a new found love in Canada. The underlying heartbeat of this book is the will to endure the ectstatic highs and lows that create the emotion-memories and presence of love. There is a treasure in this book, perhaps even a gift; no one word can explain the gift--which is much like a powerful monolith the size of a needle's eye. To be more precise though, I recognized a sort of strategy in this book: Love is infinite; it does not end with the loss of a beloved; through the mind, one can relate to the particle-images of one's memory and consistantly love people who were loved in the past (who have passed beyond presence), extending and introducing a past that was both beautiful and disastrous to a presence that becomes more vivid, more intricate, more loving with each connection made to the memories of persons who shared time and created space like children on a familiar playground.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Edgar Mihelic on July 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Neither wholly poem or narrative or argument, this slight volume sits in your hand and is an aesthetic beauty. The language is a pleasure, and we should thank both Breton and his translator for this work. It is part dream, part reality as the rock crumbles and we face our own impermanence. It is not Nadja, but something different.

My thought while I read was this: "Reading for a glint in the darkness, you find something beautiful, but even with it in your hands, you cannot tell anyone what it is or not as a deficit of your descriptive powers but because there is nothing you can describe it with." A thing of fleeting and ephemeral beauty you have to hold.
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