Bob's Reviews > Nadja

Nadja by André Breton
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's review
May 29, 2008

really liked it
Read in May, 2008

Though an invaluable resource, wikipedia is at best prosaic and sometimes just dreary. The summary "...based on Breton's interactions with an actual young woman (Nadja) over the course of 10 days, and is taken to be a semi-autobiographical description of his relationship with a mad patient..." fails to convey a scrap of the dreamlike poetry of the book, which combines surrealist dissociative fragments, a straightforward and non-judgemental description of interactions between two unusual people and a harsh postscript on the mental health establishment - plus 44 illustrations which at the time (Paris, 1928) might have served to ground the surrealism in specific reality but now (this many decades and a continent apart) only increase the mysterious otherworldliness of the landscape in which the story takes place.
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