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Exquisite Corpse

Posted on

Exquisite Corpse

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Robert Irwin
genre:
Fiction

We gave it an A

A giddy, phantasmic portrait of the 1930s Surrealist movement — complete with orgies, opium dens, and cameos by Andre Breton and Gala Dali. This marvelously clever and strangely affecting novel is framed as the 1951 memoir of Caspar, a real-life English painter of that era. Exquisite Corpse remembers the woman he loved, a typist who exemplified the workaday normalcy Caspar’s Surrealist entourage so despised — until she started quoting Baudelaire, frequenting wax museums, and finally vanished. Robert Irwin uses this mystery, Caspar’s inability to see beyond his artfully mined unconscious, and an inventive finale to at once spoof, embody, and critique Surrealism’s creative lunacy. A