André Breton Out of His Element

by Edwin Denby

In the presence of New York at the end of the thirties, the paranoia of surrealism looked parlor-sized or arch. But during the war Bill [Willem de Kooning] told me he had been walking uptown one afternoon and at the corner of 53rd and 7th he had noticed a man across the street who was making peculiar gestures in front of his face. It was Breton and he was fighting off a butterfly. A butterfly had attacked the Parisian poet in the middle of New York. So hospitable nature is to a man of genius.

SOURCE: Denby, Edwin. Willem de Kooning (Madras: Hanuman Books, 1988), pp. 54-55.

See also:

Ungureanu, Delia. From Paris to Tlön: Surrealism as World Literature (New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2018), Chapter 5: The Battle Over the New World, pp. 159-204.

C.L.R. James & Usona Kulturo
(C.L.R. James & American Culture)
de Ralph Dumain (in Esperanto)

Black Studies, Music, America vs Europe

Surrealism: Selected Links

‘World Literature’: A Bibliography

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Reference added 15 January 2023

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