in Surrealism and film after 1945


This volume came into being thanks to the collaboration, friendship, and sheer enthusiasm of many scholars working in the interdisciplinary and international field of surrealism studies. It was an excited hotel-lobby conversation after a Modernist Studies Association (MSA) conference panel on surrealism in Pasadena, CA in November, 2016 that sparked the earliest conceptualisation of this project. Tessel M. Bauduin and Kristoffer Noheden co-organised a session for MSA 18, and Abigail Susik made their acquaintance when she contributed a paper. This project would not have occurred without Tessel’s collegiality and commitment to the field.

The next step towards this volume was the three-panel stream ‘Surrealism and Film after 1950’ that we organised at the MSA conference in Amsterdam in August the following year. We want to thank all the speakers for their participation, as well as Tania Ørum and Roger Rothman, who agreed to chair the sessions. Between 2016 and 2020, we presented aspects of our own chapters for this volume at various venues, including Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, and the First Annual International Society for the Study of Surrealism Conference, at Bucknell University in Lewisburg (2018).

Matthew Frost at Manchester University Press has been a sheer joy to work with, and we are extremely grateful for his ongoing enthusiasm for this project and all the patient assistance he offered along the way. Many people contributed assistance with images and permissions, and in particular we thank: Alan Glass, who supplied our extraordinary cover image as well as an interior plate, Michel Zimbacca, Karin Kyburz, and Gallery Wendi Norris. We are also grateful to the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University, who generously supplied a grant to cover part of the image costs as well as indexing.

We are also indebted to conversations with numerous people, including Rikki Ducornet, Alan Glass, Mattias Forshage, Niklas Nenzén, V. Vale, Anna Watz, Per Faxneld, Robert Shehu-Ansell, Susan Aberth, M. E. Warlick, Patricia Allmer, Judith Noble, Gabriel Weisz Carrington, Luis Urías, Tufic Makhlouf Akl, and Manuel Felguérez, whose knowledge of surrealism and many other topics has helped inform our work with this volume. We extend a sincere thanks to Ron Sakolsky, who published a short preview of our own two chapters in The Oystercatcher (2019).

Finally, we want to thank our contributors for their groundbreaking scholarship and their dedication to this project. Special thanks are due to Paul Hammond, who came to the volume at a late stage and who, with great generosity and enthusiasm, agreed to contribute a chapter in spite of serious health problems. Although writing while living with advanced stages of the cancer that would ultimately take his life, amid bouts of chemotherapy and during the first wave of the pandemic, Paul Hammond composed all but his essay’s conclusion in a mere three months. His spirit and his scholarship remain an inspiration, and this volume as a whole is testament to the lasting influence of his work across several decades of writings and translations. 2020-21 also saw the tragic demise of surrealist cineastes Nelly Kaplan, Petr Kral, Georges Goldfayn and Michael Zimbacca, whose films and writings were vital for the surrealist spirit to persist in the cinema.

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Surrealism and film after 1945

Absolutely modern mysteries


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