Lost profiles: Mémoirs of Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism

Written by Philippe Soupault | City Lights | November 2016

Poet Alan Bernheimer provides a long overdue English translation of this French literary classic—Lost Profiles is a retrospective of a crucial period in modernism, written by co-founder of the surrealist movement. Opening with a reminiscence of the international Dada movement in the late 1910s and its transformation into the beginnings of surrealism, Lost Profiles then proceeds to usher its readers into encounters with a variety of literary lions. We meet an elegant Marcel Proust, renting five adjoining rooms at an expensive hotel to "contain" the silence needed to produce Remembrance of Things Past; an exhausted James Joyce putting himself through grueling translation sessions for Finnegans Wake; and an enigmatic Apollinaire in search of the ultimate objet trouvé. Soupault sketches lively portraits of surrealist precursors like Pierre Reverdy and Blaise Cendrars, a moving account of his tragic fellow surrealist René Crevel, and the story of his unlikely friendship with right-wing anti-Vichy critic George Bernanos. The collection ends with essays on two modernist forerunners, Charles Baudelaire and Henri Rousseau. With an afterword by Ron Padgett recounting his meeting with Soupault in the mid 70's and a preface by Breton biographer Mark Polizzotti, Lost Profiles confirms Soupault's place in the vanguard of twentieth-century literature.

Philippe Soupault (1897-1990) served in the French army during WWI and subsequently joined the Dada movement. In 1919, he collaborated with André Breton on the automatic text Les Champs magnétiques, launching the surrealist movement. In the years that followed, he wrote novels and journalism, directed Radio Tunis in Tunisia, and worked for UNESCO.

More information is available on the publisher's website.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

More new titles

new titles

Markets of Paris Second Edition

The food scene in Paris has changed dramatically since 2006, when Markets of Paris was first published. Yes, the same markets are held in the same locales as always—literally, for centuries—but many have undergone a remarkable transformation led by a young generation of purveyors focused, even more than their predecessors, on local and organic (“bio”) produce.
new titles

Captain Cap: His Adventures, His Ideas, His Drinks

A mammoth madcap trade paperback edition -- the complete and unabridged translation of the original 1902 French classic by Alphonse Allais. 370 pages, including eight uncollected "Captain Cap" stories, plus a “Cappendix” of rare historical pictures. The book is illustrated throughout with witty drawings by Doug Skinner, in addition to his extensive notes on the translation and lively introduction. Don't settle for imitations, this is 100% pure absurdist humor!
new titles

No One

Cleaning up her father’s home after his death, Gwenaëlle Aubry discovered a handwritten, autobiographical manuscript with a note on the cover: “to novelize.” The title was The Melancholic Black Sheep, but the subtitle An Inconvenient Specter had been crossed out. The specter?
1/3
MORE IN books
authors on tour

Marie-Hélène/Sam Bourcier

November 5-17, 2016
US Tour
authors on tour

Pap Ndiaye

November 4-13, 2016
East Coast
authors on tour

Vinciane Despret

October 29-November 8, 2016
US Tour
authors on tour

Antoine Volodine

October 11-18, 2016
West Coast
event

Reconstructing Comix

October 8, 2016 | 7pm
Cooper Union
Frederick P. Rose Auditorium 41 Cooper Square, New York
1/3
recomended for you
event

Hervé Tullet at the BookFest @ Bank Street

October 22 | 10:15am
Bank Street College of Education
610 West 112th Street, New York NY, 10025
event

Reconstructing Comix

October 8, 2016 | 7pm
Cooper Union
Frederick P. Rose Auditorium 41 Cooper Square, New York