Leiris, Author, Michel Leiris, Author
Leiris, Author, Michel Leiris, Author North Point Press $21.95 (266p) ISBN 978-0-86547-375-1
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
These 51 essays and short pieces by French surrealist poet/art critic Leiris include incandescent tributes to such writers as Tristan Tzara, Max Jacob, Hans Arp, Paul Eluard, Pierre Reverdy, Andre Masson and Aime Cesaire. Leiris, who has a Gallic fondness for complex sentences and ratiocination, intelligently fathoms Eric Satie's music, Alberto Giacometti's lean statues and Pablo Picasso's drawings of centaurs and fauns. A wonderful one-page essay, ``Metaphor,'' prepares the reader for his analysis of filmic ``talkies'' and his ruthless decoding of dancer Fred Astaire (``slightly macabre clown'') as a symbol of our time. Anthropological excursions touch on the symbolic significance of human saliva and Haitian voodooists' use of Catholic holy images. This miscellany includes reviews of plays by Jean-Paul Sartre and Federico Garcia Lorca, along with appreciations of Joan Miro, Arnold Schonberg, Raymond Queneau, Michel Butor. (Mar.)
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