The first study in English devoted to Philippe Soupault, one of the founder-members of the Surrealist movement. Although he regarded himself primarily as a poet, he also wrote novels, a number of plays, and a heterogeneous set of biographical or critical studies. In addition, his activity in publishing brought him into contact with international authors, and his work as a journalist enabled him to report first-hand on Hitler's rise to power, and to compare conditions in the Soviet Union and the United States in the early 1930s. This study examines questions of truth and fiction, the reliability of memory, modes of writing, and the problems these pose for biographer and/or critic.
The autobiographical writings: Histoire d'un Blanc; Appendre a vivre; Memoires de l'Oubli; Vingt milles et un jours; Journal d'un fantome. The poet: Aquarium; Rose des vents; Les Champs magnetiques; Westwego; Georgia; Poesies completes; the poetry of the 1940s-1950s; the twilight years - Crepuscules and beyond. Life as fiction: Le Bon Apotre; A la Derive; Les Freres Durandeau; Voyage d'Horace Pirouelle; En Joue!; Corps perdu/Le coeur d'o; Le Negre; Les Dernieres Nuits de Paris; Le Grand Homme; Les Moribunds. The "Lives and Works": Henri Rousseau; le Douanier; Lautreamont; William Blake; Jean Lurcat; Paolo Uccello; Charlot; Baudelaire; Eugene Labiche. "All the World's a Stage": S'il vous plait and Vous m'oublierez; A vous de jouer!; Litterature and La Revolution surrealiste; Ecrits de cinema; newspapers, radio, television; "And all the men and women merely players".