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Book Reviews creating a counter-discourse freed from the entailments of language. After a chapter on “ L’Après-midi d’un faune,” as rich in perception as those that pre­ cede it, Wing turns to Marx’s writings on the years 1848-1851 and the trials of Flaubert and Baudelaire in 1857, exploring the crossings of political and literary representation. Although the political chaos of those years was, as Marx said, one in which no interest or class could truly represent itself in the drama (or farce) of history, the authorities realized that literary blurring of the boundaries of self-identity and social culpability was a threat to their position. Barthes linked the emergence of modernism to the political events of these years in Le Degré zéro de l’écriture; de Man attempted to deconstruct that connection, dis­ covering dissolution of the subject in Stendhal and Friedrich Schlegel; Richard Terdiman’s Discourse/Counter-Discourse supports the position of Barthes and Wing. Nearly all agree on the political story. Regardless of whether there is a distinct temporal connection between the certainties of political and uncertainties of literary interpretation (Nerval might provide a test case), Wing’s readings, based on a wide range of current literary theory, should prove illuminating to all interested in the period. W allace M artin University o f Toledo Rudolf E. Kuenzli, ed. D ada a n d S urrealist F ilm. New York: Willis Locker & Owens, 1987. Pp. 254. $24.95 cloth; $12.95 paper. The thirteen essays in addition to the thought-to-be lost scenario of L ’Etoile de mer by Robert Desnos and Man Ray, framed by a meticulously written introduction by Rudolf Kuenzli, add much new and relevant information to Dada and Surrealist ventures in film. Tracing and defining the achievements of Cubist, Futurist, Dadaist, and Constructivist painters intent upon impressing movement on their pictorial works, Kuenzli details their fascination with cinema as “ moving pictures.” An investigation into “ the visual and verbal world of multi-dimensionality” of Marcel Duchamp’s seminal work, Nude Descending a Staircase, his experiments with Man Ray in Rotary Glass Plates (Precision Optics) (1920), and his own Anemic cinema (1926), follows. Kuenzli’s explorations of Dada and Surrealist films also points up their differences as viewed in the following: Man Ray’s Retour à la raison (1923), Hans Richter’s Rhythms 21, Fernand Léger’s Ballet mécanique (1924), Picabia’s “ instantanist” ballet Relâche and René Clair’s Entr’acte, Luis Bunuel’s and Salvador Dali’s Un chien andalou (1929) and L ’ Âge d ’or (1930), Antonin Artaud’s and Germaine Dulac’s La Coquille et le clergyman (1928). Thomas Elsaesser’s excellent essay “ Dada/Cinema?” focuses most appropriately on the originless nature of film. Were it not for the advances in science, technical, chemical and optical fields, the author wonders whether film would have come into being? And Dada film in particular? Judi Freeman’s “ Bridging Purism and Surrealism: The Origins and Productions of Fernand Léger’s Ballet Mécanique” is of particular interest for its “ machine aesthetic” and the importance given the mobile images with regard to his canvasses. “ Anemic Vision in Duchamp: Cinema as Readymade” by Dalia Judovitz explores in a most cogent manner Marcel Duchamp’s spirals and puns in what is alluded to as a “ strategic juxtaposition visual elements” while seeking to question “ its visual esthetic status.” VOL. XXX, NO. 2 111 L ’E sprit C r é a t e u r Richard Abel’s excellently researched “ Exploring the Discursive Field of the Surrealist Film Scenario Text” considers the value of such works as literary texts published during the twenties and thirties. Peter Christensen analyzes with felicity “ Benjamin Fondane’s Scenarii intournables,’’ comparing this little known work with other avant-garde films and scenarios of the 1920’s. In his searching essay David Wills’ “ Split Screen” focuses on dream and the unconscious as these intersect with cinema and Surrealism in the works of Desnos. Inez Hedges’ most informative essay adds another dimension to an already fasci­ nating subject: Robert Desnos’ and Man Ray’s five minute film, L ’Etoile de Mer. Any additional information on the subject of Dali...


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pp. 111-112
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