SURREALIST CASE STUDIES
Literature, the Arts and Medicine.
(DePaul University, USA)
work centers around the themes of disease, decay and medicine in surrealism.
More specifically, it concerns surrealist writers
or artists who were also either physicians or chronically ill patients.
Three chapters of the text focus on André Breton,
Louis Aragon and Jacques-André Boiffard.
Breton and Aragon had extensive medical training and were simultaneously beginning a
career writing poetry and prose. While
Bretons work melds a scientific outlook and an artistic one, Aragons sexually
explicit texts link the works of Sigmund Freud and those of the Marquis de Sade.
For his part, Boiffard, a practicing radiologist,
became interested in photography which had been linked to the x-ray, a relatively new
invention at the time. The artistic work of
these men was influenced by their backgrounds in the varying fields of science.
Another aspect of the text focuses on surrealists who were also patients.
Paul Eluard and Frida Kahlo suffered all their
lives with chronic illnesses. Eluard
contracted tuberculosis as a young man and was plagued with respiratory problems.
His poetry reflects this struggle in the rhythm of
a body searching for (surrealist) breath.
long list of physical ailments became the centerpiece of her art and life. In the work of
both of these artists, the part of the body that is broken appears glorified in their art.
completed her Ph.D. in Italian and French Studies at the University of Chicago in 1990.
She has previously published three books and a
number of articles. She is currently a Professor of French and Italian at DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois.
She was awarded the distinction of Chevalier of the Palmes
Académiques by Consul Général of France on May 6, 2016.