The Milk Bowl of Feathers
Fiction 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 to all corners of the globe, inspiring new, groundbreaking poets as well as artists like Joan Miró and René Magritte and cinematic masters such as Antonin Artaud, Luis Buñuel, and Salvador Dalí. 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: not only works by Aragon, Breton, Dalí, René Char, Man Ray, and Robert Desnos, but also works by key, often overlooked female surrealists— Mina Loy, Alice Paalen, Gisèle Prassinos, Kay Sage, and Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. The Milk Bowl of Feathers provides a grand picture of this revolutionary movement that shocked the world.