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Amour Fou

Parents: mad - love

Related: André Breton - irrationalism - passion - surrealism

L'Amour fou : Photography and Surrealism (1985) - Rosalind Krauss, Jane Livingston, Dawn Ades [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Mad Love (1935) - Karl Freund


Amour Fou is French for mad love. L'Amour fou is also the title of a 1937 collection of art criticism and poetry by André Breton and Mad Love is the title of a 1935 film adaptation by Karl Freund of Maurice Renard's horror story Les Mains d'Orlac.

L'Amour fou

"Above all else, the surrealists insisted that the relationship between film and spectator was primarily libidinal. That Paul Éluard discovered Peter Ibbetson (a 1935 Hollywood film that Breton considered comparable only to Luis Buñuel's L'Age d'or in its depiction of L'Amour fou) by impulsively trailing an attractive woman into a movie theater was seen as ultimate proof." --Midnight Movies (1983). page 36.

Peter Ibbetson (1935) - Henry Hathaway

Peter Ibbetson is a 1891 novel by British author George du Maurier (1834 - 1896) in which dreams and the unconscious are an important theme. You can read the novel here. More info on du Maurier at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_du_Maurier [Feb 2006]

See also: the film experience - love - libido - 1935 - Paul Éluard - André Breton - Luis Buñuel - Surrealism

L'Amour fou : Photography and Surrealism (1985) - Rosalind Krauss, Jane Livingston, Dawn Ades

From Publishers Weekly
Andre Breton's surrealist manifestos of the 1920s and '30s, along with his novel concept of "l'amour fou," ascribed to his revolutionary Parisian art movement "the intensely illogical reality of a dream." British and American art educators Krauss, Livingston and Ades in this rich picture book examine the very extensive role of photography (an unlikely medium on the face of it) in the surrealist movement. Shown here are photographs by Man Ray, Brassai, Tabard, Ubac, Boiffard and others whose choice of subject and/or photolab manipulations leave in no doubt their surrealist competence and intent. Illogical juxtapositions, twisted imagery (e.g., Hans Bellmer's "Doll" sequence), light-and-shadow cutouts, and coldly unerotic dissections of the female form boldly assert surrealism's quest for an ultimate truth its own "psycho-atmospheric-anamorphic" knowledge. A scholarly tour de force, this is the catalogue of a traveling exhibition. December 27

Book Description
Now back in stock: A collection of fabulous photographs by the foremost Surrealist artists.

Much has been written about Surrealist painting and sculpture, but most of the erotic, disorienting, and exquisite Surrealist photographs of Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Andre Breton, Brassai, Salvador Dali, Andre Kertesz, and Hans Bellmer have remained all but unknown--until now. Traditional criticism has viewed Surrealist photography as a pale imitation of authentic Surrealist work. The assumption has been that photography, a "realistic" medium, is fundamentally incompatible with a cause devoted to the wildly subjective, the world of dreams, and the unconscious. As a consequence, Surrealist photography, a major body of twentieth-century art, has remained largely unexplored.

L' Amour fou is the first book to study the crucial role photography did in fact play in the Surrealist movement. It shows how photographers enlisted into the service of "subjective" Surrealism their medium's very claim to "objective" reality. Of greatest interest, of course, is the book's abundant reproductions of the fantastic and distorted photographic creations that must be acknowledged as an important part of the Surrealist oeuvre.

Other Details: 200 duotones, 24 full-color illustrations. 9 x 12" trim size. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C./Abbeville Press, New York, co-publishers. First published 1985.

See also: Hans Bellmer (surrealist photography) - photography - Rosalind Krauss - Surrealism

Love, only love that you are, carnal love

In search of a definition of l'amour fou.

Thus Breton's hymn to the glory of Melusina, in Arcanum 17, betokens an abandonment of the love celebrated in L'Amour fou:

Love, only love that you are, carnal love, I adore, I have never ceased to adore, your lethal shadow, your mortal shadow. A day will come when man will be able to recognize you for his only master, honoring you even in the mysterious perversions you surround him with.
--via http://www.cddc.vt.edu/sionline/postsi/cavalier06.html [Feb 2006]

See also: passion - carnal - irrational - love

Toward the Poetics of Surrealism (1976) - J. H. Matthews

In search of a definition of l'amour fou.

Toward the Poetics of Surrealism (1976) - J. H. Matthews [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

JH Matthews defines amour fou as passion ‘undisciplined by reason, expressive of irrational impulses and therefore assertive of freedom': see his Toward the Poetics of Surrealism, Syracuse, New York. Syracuse University Press, 1976, p. 169.

See also: passion - Surrealism - irrational - poetics

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