Nadja by André Breton

By André Breton

Nadja, initially released in France in 1928, is the 1st and maybe most sensible Surrealist romance ever written, a ebook which outlined that movement's perspective towards lifestyle. The crucial narrative is an account of the author's dating with a lady within the urban of Paris, the tale of an obsessional presence haunting his existence. The first-person narrative is supplemented via forty-four images which shape a vital part of the work—pictures of varied ‘surreal’ humans, locations, and items which the writer visits or is haunted by means of in Nadja's presence and which encourage him to meditate on their truth or loss of it.

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Sample text

Elle est très abandonnée, très sûre de moi. Pourtant elle cherche quelque chose, elle tient absolument à ce que nous entrions dans une cour, une cour de commissariat quelconque qu'elle explore rapidement. * Lequel fait face à la maison dont il vient d'être question, ceci toujours pour les amateurs de solutions faciles. (N. d. ) Nous nous faisons servir dehors par le marchand de vins... (p. 81). « Ce n'est pas là... Mais, dis-moi, pourquoi dois-tu aller en prison ? Qu'auras-tu fait ? Moi aussi j'ai été en prison.

Partout on lui a offert des salaires dérisoires. Il est arrivé aussi qu'avant de lui donner réponse on la regardât à deux fois. Un patron boulanger qui lui promettait dix-sept francs par jour, après avoir de nouveau levé les yeux sur elle, s'est repris : dix-sept ou dix-huit. Très enjouée : « Je lui ai dit : dix-sept, oui ; dix-huit, non. » Nous voici, au hasard de nos pas, rue du Faubourg-Poissonnière. Autour de nous on se hâte, c'est l'heure de dîner. Comme je veux prendre congé d'elle, elle demande qui m'attend.

J'ouvre, en m'éveillant, une lettre d'Aragon, venant d'Italie et accompagnant la reproduction photographique du détail central d'un tableau d'Uccello que je ne connaissais pas. Ce tableau a pour titre : La Profanation de l'Hostie *. Vers la fin de la journée, qui s'est passée sans autre incident, je me rends au bar habituel («À la Nouvelle France ») où j'attends vainement Nadja. Je redoute plus que jamais sa disparition. Ma seule ressource est d'essayer de découvrir où elle habite, non loin du Théâtre des Arts.

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