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The Experience of the Night

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  29 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
One of the great works of Twentieth Century Literary Fantasy The Experience of the Night was published in the last year of The Second World War. It became a cult novel amongst the surrealists, gaining an almost mythic status as the masterpiece of the French Kafka. It inhabits a nighttime world where dream and reality are indistinguishable. A novel about vision, dream and r ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published May 1st 1997 by Dedalus (first published 1945)
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Jan 26, 2009 Stephen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009
Where information on Bealu is to be found in English, two facts are invariably mentioned: (1) his use of dreamlike narrative and logic and (b) that he was greatly admired by the Surrealists, including the almost impossible to please Breton. If Wikipedia is to be trusted, Bealu's almost more famous career as a bookseller began with Jacques Lacan: apparently, Lacan was Bealu's first customer at his bookshop The Crossed Bridge.

As far as I know, The Experience of the Night is the only of Bealu's bo
May 10, 2010 Tait rated it really liked it
Shelves: french, literature, dreams
A weird and beautiful novel that heavily influenced the Surrealists, The Experience of the Night is told through the illogic of dreams, and as such its highly symbolic plot doesn't make very much sense. But its scenes are breathtaking, and hint at a much more fantastic reality hiding behind the one we commonly think we live in, that is, the reality that exists in each of our subconscious. Read this for its vision, not its meaning.

From a technical perspective, this book would be more effective i
Brent Legault
Mar 08, 2013 Brent Legault rated it liked it
It's no secret that the Kafka label is too easily and urgently pinned on just about anything that involves a man alone against an impermeable, illogical, ununderstandable system, but I doubt that Kafka would appreciate the comparisons, especially with Bealu's cockamamie characters and "plot," which reminded me of what a first-time film-maker with talent but no story might do. Moments of brilliance highlighting spools of overworked bordom.

Here are a couple of noteworthy quotes:

-"Oh, how I longed
Oct 03, 2010 Christina rated it liked it
This is the strangest book i've read in awhile, abstract, surreal and almost pointless but that it was so humourus and nicely written. Basically the first three quarters of the story involves the protaganist in his quest for improved eye sight and his unexplained obsession with his ophthamologist Dr. Fohat. The story is full of unexplained events which edge on lunacy with even some si-fi tones. Bizarre in every way, though I should give this more stars for being the most original story I've read ...more
Jul 02, 2007 Czar rated it it was amazing
A whirlwind of fascination and language - engrossing to the hilt - one of the cornerstone building blocks for surrealists.
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“Oh, how I longed to burst through the doors and go walking through the streets, with my hands open, like weapons!” 3 likes
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