Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Arcanum 17” as Want to Read:
Arcanum 17
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Arcanum 17

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Considered radical at the time, today Breton’s ideas seem almost prescient, yet breathtaking in their passionate underlying belief in the indestructibility of life and the freedom of the human spirit. André Breton wrote Arcanum 17 during a trip to the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec in the months after D-Day in 1944, when the Allied troops were liberating Occupied Europe. Using ...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published April 1st 2004 by Green Integer (first published 1945)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Arcanum 17, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Arcanum 17

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 761)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Joel Ortiz-Quintanilla
i read this years ago, when i was really knee deep in surrealism, i said to hell with american lit, it is all crap, i wanted something different, something that would make me think, and it lead me to dada and surrealism, i read mad love first, this has to be about 1995-1996, but i found a copy of this book, after i read mad love,and i liked it, i saw a common element, that each of his books were about different women and how much he loved them, a different book on a different woman, but arcanum ...more
This a fluidly (un)structured hundred pages written in 1944 when the world looked pretty grim and Breton had exiled himself to North America. Combining philosophical musings on education, liberty and a rather essentialist view (repackaged by some contemporary commentators as feminist) of what women's role should be in society, with a series of poetic images, based on the tarot card of the title, the bird-covered Percé Rock, off coastal Quebec, various themes of loss and redemption, the work is a ...more
An odd, rambling account of political liberty, womanhood, and natural beauty. Beautifully written at times, but also obscure and personal. Some sections read like a string of Joycean epiphanies loosely connected to the book's themes, while other sections read like a political manifesto. I feel as if I may have had a stronger connection to the work if I had been reading it at a certain time in my life--or perhaps if I had lived through that moment in history between the wars upon which Breton was ...more
Andre Breton is one of those deep thinkers and his writing is such that it is not easily understandable. You have to take every sentence and break it down in order to get the exact meaning of what he is trying to communicate. The only way I found out what this book was about is by reading the translator's introduction. For that reason, I am giving this book 2 stars and I doubt that I would read anything else that he has written.
Mar 25, 2008 Andrew rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: probably you or you or you
a marvelous work!
Yaman Maarrawi
Yaman Maarrawi marked it as to-read
Aug 02, 2015
Auntie Pam
Auntie Pam marked it as to-read
Jul 30, 2015
Nina Yang
Nina Yang marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2015
Xime marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
Hailey marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
Adam Stein
Adam Stein marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
Bernice marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
Inês marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2015
Hannah Brusca
Hannah Brusca marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2015
Baguette marked it as to-read
Jul 14, 2015
John Drumm
John Drumm marked it as to-read
Jul 13, 2015
Amanda marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2015
Yussef Sabat
Yussef Sabat marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2015
Kcarmack marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2015
Allen C
Allen C marked it as to-read
Jul 04, 2015
T.J. Gossard
T.J. Gossard marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2015
1001list marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2015
Cristina Lehene
Cristina Lehene marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2015
Melissa marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Alli marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Addicted to Books
Addicted to Books marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2015
Farhan Muchtar
Farhan Muchtar marked it as to-read
Jun 19, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 25 26 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • L'Abbé C
  • The Vice Consul (Pantheon Modern Writers Original)
  • Impressions of Africa
  • Death Sentence
  • The Bells of Basel
  • The Roots of Heaven
  • Jealousy
  • Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep
  • The Ogre
  • Claudine's House
  • The Opposing Shore
  • Rameau's Nephew / D'Alembert's Dream
  • Bouvard and Pecuchet
  • Under Fire
  • Manon des Sources
  • Fantômas (Fantômas, #1)
  • Strait is the Gate (La Porte Etroite)
  • The Case Worker
André Breton was a French writer, poet, and surrealist theorist, and is best known as the principal founder of Surrealism. His writings include the Surrealist Manifesto (Manifeste du surréalisme) of 1924, in which he defined surrealism as "pure psychic automatism".
More about André Breton...
Nadja Manifestoes of Surrealism Mad Love Anthology of Black Humor Poems

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Today's education is entirely defective to the extent that, calling itself positivist, it begins with abusing the child's trust by presenting as true what is only either a temporary phenomenon or a hypothesis, when it's not a blatant untruth; and to the extent that it prevents children from forming in good time their own opinions by creasing into them certain habits that make their freedom of judgement an illusion” 5 likes
More quotes…