Monday, December 10, 2012

Nadja Found!

That North America is a cultural backwater Surrealism-wise was plainly evident when I found this three year old story. Nadja, the wild Surrealist woman of Andre Breton's novel of the same name has been a mystery since the book was published in 1928. Who was she? Did Nadja even exist? By accident I found this web site which resolves the mystery.
               Nadja's real name was Leona Delcourt (1902-1941) Below is her self portrait taken from Breton's book and below that is her photograph.

The sort of small-minded bitter people who delight in tearing down others, have accused Breton of callous behaviour for refusing to see Nadja in the insane asylum. Letters from her have also come to light showing her obsession with Breton, to the point that he felt threatened by her. (Breton was happily married at this time.) Visiting her would only maintain or inflame this passion.

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