Out of print, very few copies indeed.
Contains The Automatic Message, The Magnetic Fields, and The Immaculate Conception. Illustration by Salvador Dalí. Introduced by David Gascoyne & Antony Melville. Translated by David Gascoyne, Antony Melville & Jon Graham.
In its early days Surrealism was essentially synonymous with literary “automatism”, and this book collects together the most significant texts written using this technique, which Breton’s prefatory essay, The Automatic Message, relates to the underlying concepts and aesthetic of the Surrealist movement.
The Magnetic Fields (1919) was the first work of literary Surrealism and is thus one of the foundations of modern European thought and writing. This authorised translation is by the poet David Gascoyne, himself a member of the group and a friend of both authors.
The Immaculate Conception (1930) traces the interior and exterior life of man from Conception and Intra-Uterine Life to Death and The Original Judgement. The central section is a celebrated series of “simulations” of various types of mental instability. Maurice Nadeau (in The History of Surrealism) described this book as “An astonishing series of poems in prose, more brilliant than those of either Breton or Eluard on his own… if all that remained of the Surrealist movement were the pages of The Immaculate Conception, man, alerted, could not turn away from the astounding mystery of his condition.”
Atlas Anti-Classic 6, reprints the 1985 edition of The Magnetic Fields, and the 1990 edition of The Immaculate Conception.
223 pp, 19 x 17 cm, paperback,1998.