The Milk Bowl of Feathers

Essential Surrealist Writings

This is a welcome volume.

Rain Taxi

The Milk Bowl of Feathers


Edited by Mary Ann Caws

Born at the famous Café Voltaire in Zurich in 1916 from the avant-garde Dada movement, Surrealism aimed to free the creative act from rational thought. Max Ernst, André Breton, Tristan Tzara, Paul Éluard, Philippe Soupault, and Louis Aragon created a movement that spread like wildfire, inspiring new, groundbreaking poets, as well as visual artists like René Magritte and Man Ray. As the editor, Mary Ann Caws, says, “Essential to Surrealist behavior is a constant state of openness, of readiness for whatever occurs, whatever marvelous object we might come across, manifesting itself against the already thought, the already lived.”

Here are the gems of this major, mind-bending aesthetic and political movement: works not only by Aragon, Breton, Dalí, René Char, and Robert Desnos, but also by key, often overlooked female Surrealists— Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Mina Loy, Alice Rahon, Gisèle Prassinos, and Kay Sage. The Milk Bowl of Feathers provides a grand picture of this revolutionary movement that shocked the world.

Paperback(published Sep, 25 2018)

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This is a welcome volume.

Rain Taxi

Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.

Salvador Dalí

A satisfying thrill.

The Rumpus

Mary Ann Caws, distinguished scholar and beloved doyenne of all things surrealist, has edited a slim but utterly delightful volume of essential surrealist writings titled The Milk Bowl of Feathers. It is a collection that delivers new insights into this radical movement with a laser focus, and, importantly, rectifies some past omissions to the surrealist literary canon with a few deft and expert inclusions, namely of women and non-French writers.

Susan Aberth, Words Without Borders

A decisive addition to the Surrealist English library, as it includes short texts by often-overlooked female Surrealists…The Milk Bowl of Feathers book is accessible, delightful, and inexpensive.


Every page should explode, either because of its staggering absurdity, the enthusiasm of its principles, or its typography.

Tristan Tzara