Conceptions of the Absurd
From Surrealism to Chestov's and Fondane's Existential Thought

Ramona Fotiade

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

1 December 2001  •  270pp

ISBN: 1-900755-47-5 (paperback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ModernFrenchCentralFictionPhilosophy


The concept of the Absurd was a source of fascination for artists and intellectuals throughout the twentieth century. Two interpretations in particular were to provide major reference points for French writers in the 1920s and 1930s: the Surrealist 'free functioning of thought', and the existential critique of rational discourse elaborated by Léon Chestov (1866-1938) and Benjamin Fondane (1898-1944). In this highly original study, Fotiade examines the less familiar existential line, and shows that Chestov and Fondane's project found support and illustration in the force-field of the Surrealist movement. The work of such dissident writers as Antonin Artaud, Roger Gilbert-Lecomte and René Daumal takes on entirely new meanings when considered in this wider intellectual context.

Ramona Fotiade is a Lecturer in French at the University of Glasgow. She has edited the volume André Breton: The Power of Language (2000) and a special Surrealist issue of Screen (1998). The director of the Shestov Society, she also edits its publication, the Shestov Journal.

Reviews:

  • ‘Fotiade argues persuasively that the ideas of Chestov and Fondane form the basis of a tradition of dissident thought in the 1920s and beyond... an original and illuminating contribution to French intellectual history, a clearly organized and closely argued exploration of a neglected field.’ — Douglas Smith, French Studies LVII.3, 2003, 414-15

Bibliography entry:

Fotiade, Ramona, Conceptions of the Absurd: From Surrealism to Chestov's and Fondane's Existential Thought (Cambridge: Legenda, 2001)

First footnote reference: 35 Ramona Fotiade, Conceptions of the Absurd: From Surrealism to Chestov's and Fondane's Existential Thought (Cambridge: Legenda, 2001), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Fotiade, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Fotiade, Ramona. 2001. Conceptions of the Absurd: From Surrealism to Chestov's and Fondane's Existential Thought (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Fotiade 2001: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Fotiade 2001: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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