Paris and the Surrealists

George Kelly, Author, George Melly, Author, Michael Woods, Photographer Thames & Hudson $35 (0p) ISBN 978-0-500-23623-9
In a volume that is digressive yet evocative of Paris's lure, Melly ( The Life and Work of Scottie Wilson ) attempts to ``provide a parallel text'' for photos by Woods. Melly is nearest his goal when he reminisces about his decidedly unglamorous youthful wanderings through the city and his 1952 meeting with his hero, esteemed surrealist Andre Breton; Woods's duotone images, their grays so warm as to appear brown, often portray shop windows, monuments, street scenes that one might witness on an aimless stroll or from a seat in a cafe. However, the Parisian spirit at times effectively conjured here is lost during extensive reviews of three books Melly feels best express surrealist ideals and the flavor of Paris: Louis Aragon's Paris Peasant and Breton's Nadja and Mad Love . Overall, this collaboration repeatedly asserts but ultimately does not demonstrate that ``although historic surrealism is entombed in libraries and museums, its marvelous phantom still haunts the city of its birth.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
Discover what to read next