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Anthology of Black Humor
This is the first publication in English of the anthology that contains Breton’s definitive statement on l’humour noir, one of the seminal concepts of Surrealism, and his provocative assessments of the writers he most admired. While some of the authors featured in the Anthology of Black Humor are already well known to American readers—Swift, Kafka, Rimbaud, Poe, Lewis Carr ...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published January 1st 2001 by City Lights Publishers
(first published 1940)
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This is a wonderful collection of vintage black humor, perhaps typified in its editorial bent by the inclusion of the Marquis de Sade. L'humoir noir was one of the foundational legs d'giraffe upon which Surrealism farted and cavorted. With age, the black humor collected here has largely been surpassed, giving this book the feel of a vital museum piece. There are writers here who still hold their own (Peret, Carroll, Jarry, Huysmans and Baudelaire, among others), though it must be confessed that ...more
L'humour noir, edited by Andre Breton, was intended to highlight the Surrealist's conception of humor, which he termed "a superior revolt of the mind," and the "mortal enemy of sentimentality." In addition to his introductory essay, Breton wrote a biographical and critical preface for each of the forty-five selections, and it is in these prefaces where Breton examines and expresses his conception of this essential form of humor. For example, from his discussion of Lewis Carroll, Breton gives us ...more
Me sería imposible no darle las cinco estrellas a esta antología. Jamás me había carcajeado mientras leía como ocurrió con Alphonse Allais. También disfruté mucho la poesía de Picabia, la obra de Grabbe, los textos de Swift y los de De Quincey. Sin mencionar a los surrealistas que como siempre me han encantado.
The person who coined the term creating an anthology - not to be dispensed! Some great writing, and some very befuddled writing. But then again, I've always had a somewhat diffuse relationship with most surrealist writers, and Breton is most certainly biased. Still, hilarious, in general.