Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Nadja : Andre Breton

Considered one of the most iconic works of the french surrealist movement, Andre Breton's 'Nadja' is a compelling love story written over a ten day relationship with a patient of pioneering french psychologist Pierre Janet.
Although the text is considered semi-autobiographical, and the style of writing suggests an over riding sense of realistic journalism with the inclusion of actual locations throughout Paris, the reader is left with an ambiguity as to wether Nadja actually exists, or is simply a manifestation of the 'freedom' that Breton is pursuing in his surrealistic outlook on life.

"There are sophisms infinitely more significant and far-reaching than the most indisputable of truths"

For me, Nadja represents an allegorical personification of the existentialist's confounded freedom, alluring to the maxims of Sartre and the French hegemony post world war I.

The last line of the book, "Beauty will be convulsive or not at all", in the context that it is written, using the analogy of a train journey to describe the deepest sense of what love may be, with all it's unexpected jolts and turns, highlights furthermore the affinity to yield to the nourishing warmth and benign anonymity of ambiguity and human desires.

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