7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Good, When It's Coherent,
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This review is from: Nadja (Paperback)
I'd like to think I'm more of a fan of surrealism than anybody else, but even Surrealism has its ugly side. And I would say this particular ugly side is fairly easy to view in Breton's most popular love story.
What is the ugly side of surrealism? Too much incoherence. Although not knowing exactly what's going on gives surrealism it's particular flavor and appeal, not knowing ANYTHING that's going on AT ALL kills the surreal feeling because it takes out the "real" part and turns surrealism into something 100% abstract.
In other words, I think Breton went too far. Half the time, the reader has no idea what his non-terminating sentences are trying to convey. Ideas fly around at random, and while some are quite funny, it's impossible to get much out of something that's hardly understandable. Plus there are many references to things only someone in France in the 1920's would be aware.
Really, that's the only flaw. The character of Nadja (pretty much the only character in the book) is absolutely wonderful. She doesn't seem to be insane and socially menacing so much as she seems to be confused about what she wants in life. I thought of her as a teenage girl, living for the moment. She puts Breton in a dangerous driving situation, and spends money without worrying about its depletion, thinking she can just ask for some more later.
She isn't some lazy bum though. She's educated enough to love literature and art and is actually stable in a variety of ways. Like any other stable person, she just wants a good friend to talk to, and she makes appointments that she actually keeps. I can often picture awkward pauses in her conversations with Breton, which seems very normal and human to me. Strangers on the street wave to her like she's a natural friend. She really is loveable. I know, because I love her too.
If only one could understand what the HECK Breton was saying. I swear, he sounds either like Freud or a crooked lawyer, making up stuff on the fly to be as confusing as possible. If I gave this to people in a writing critique group, they'd be horrified at the incoherence of it all. Incoherence is only good up to a certain point. That's my opinion anyway.
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Initial post: Sep 16, 2014 2:47:36 PM PDT
David M. Jones says:
great review... you should write a book... I'm buying uh what's the name of this book? who's it by? I'll check it out. I'm definitely buying a used in fair condtion copy thats for sure... hope there's notes so I can understand it... one used book I bought, someone who read it--- wrote another book over all the pages, pretty nifty. i don't know which book I liked better really, very nice.
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