CORNER's Avant-Garde Reader
Selection of invaluable books in the field of the avant-garde published in the 1990s.

Juan Manuel Bonet. Diccionario de las Vanguardias en España 1907-1936. Alianza Editorial, 1995. ISBN: 84-206-9455-X.

Este volumen reúne el fascinante mundo de la vanguadia española en las artes plásticas, la arquitectura, la fotografía, la poesía, la novela, el teatro, el ensayo, el diseño gráfico, la música, la danza y el cine. Ningún campo queda fuera de esta obra en la que se subrayan las conexiones más inesperadas, y en la que junto a figuras mayores (Picasso, Juan Gris, Julio González, Torres García, Miró, Dalí, Ramón Gómez de la Serna...) desfila una multitud de personajes menos conocidos, algunos de ellos extremadamente atractivos. Un libro, en definitva, de indispensable consulta y el primer diccionario completo y riguroso de las vanguardias en España 1907-1936.

Mary Ann Caws, Rudolf Kuenzli, and Gwen Raaberg, eds. Surrealism and Women. The MIT Press, 1991. ISBN: 0-262-53098-8.

This book presents an important revision of surrealism by focusing on the works of women surrealists and their strategies to assert positions as creative subjects within a movement than regarded woman primarily as an object of masculine desire or fear. Sixteen essays by Gwen Raaberg, Mary Ann Caws, Rudolf Kuenzli, Ines Hedges, Gisèle Prassinos, Renée Riese Hubert, Robert J. Balton and Gloria Feman Orenstein, among others.

Nadia Choucha. Surrealism & the Occult. Shamanism, Magic, Alchemy, and the Birth of an Artistic Movement. Destiny Books, 1992. ISBN: 0-89281-373-3.

In their attempt to tap the unconscious regions of the mind, the surrealists borrowed imagery from alchemy, the Tarot, Gnosticism, Tantra, and other esoteric traditions and sought inspirations from ancient myths, irrational thought, and ethnic art. This book is an essential key to the mysteries of the surrealist movement and the forces that gave it life.

Ken Friedman, ed. The Fluxus Reader. Academy Editions. ISBN: 0-4719-7858-2.

Fluxus began in the 1950s as an international community of artists, architects, composers and designers. By the 1960s, Fluxus had become a laboratory of ideas and an arena for artistic experimentation in Europe, Asia and the United States. Fluxus was "the most radical and experimental art movement of the 1960s." This book offers the first comprehensive overview on this challenging and controversial group. It is written by leading scholars and experts from Europe and the United States. The book is divided in six parts with an introduction by Friedman and essays by Owen Smith, Ina Blom, David T Doris, Stephen C Foster, Larry Miller, and Dick Higgins, among others. Part VI contains documents of Fluxus and a Fluxus Chronology of Key Moments and Events.

Juan A. Martínez. Cuban Art & National Identity. The Vanguardia Painters 1927-1950. University Press of Florida, 1994. ISBN: 0-8130-1306-2.

This book rediscovers the Cuban artistic avant-garde that emerged in Havana in the twenties. Lavishly illustrated with sixty paintings, the book describes for the first time in English the importance of the vanguardia in Cuban history and culture.

"The most complete and lucid discussion of the vanguardia painters of the 1920s and 1930s available anywhere."

-Louis A. Pérez, Jr., University of North Carolina.

Raimund Meyer. Dada in Zürich. Luchterhand Literaturverlag, 1990. ISBN: 3-630-61903-7.

Die Besichtigung eines Schauplatzes: Zürich nahm 1914-1918 Flüchtlinge, Deserteure, Pazifisten auf, eine verzweifelte, anarchistische Avantgarde, vereint im Abscheu gegen den Krieg. Ihre Waffe hiess Dada.

Uber die Geschichte von Dada Zürich, einer der inspirierendsten Bewegungen der modernen Kunst, hat Raimund Meyer "Uberraschendes zu berichten"

-Tagensanzeiger Zürich

C. Brian Morris, ed. The Surrealist Adventure in Spain. Ottawa Hispanic Studies 6. Dovehouse Editions Canada, 1991. ISBN: 0-191473-82-2.

A volume of fifteen essays, which offers the most comprehensive evaluation to date of Surrealism in twentieth-century Spanish art and literature. Essays by C. Brian Morris, Adriana J. Bergero, Willard Bohn, Ignacio Soldevila-Durante, Nigel Dennis, Derek Harris, Anthony L. Geist and Jacqueline Cruz, among others. The book contains twenty-five illustrations and an extensive bibliography.

Charles A. Perrone. Seven Faces. Brazilian Poetry since Modernism. Duke University Press, 1996. ISBN: 0-8223-1814-8.

In this book, Perrone studies the most important poetic movements in Brazil since modernismo : concretism and vanguard poetry, politically committed verse of the 60s, poetry of the 70s, the lyricism of Brazil's renowned popular music, and the rethinking of poetry through postmodernism in the final decades of the Twentieth century. This is the only book-length study in English of contemporary Brazilian poetry.

"This work fills an important part of a lamentable gap in Latin American studies in the United States. Perrone's work forms a marvelous bridge between modernism and the contemporary Brazilian scene."

-Santiago Colás, University of Michigan.

Juan Ramon Resina, ed. El aeroplano y la estrella: El movimiento de vanguardia en los países catalanes (1904-1936). Rodopi, 1997. ISBN: 90-420-0188-7.

El tema de este libro es el surgimiento de la vanguardia en la Península Ibérica, surgimiento que, por razones sociales e históricas precisas, tiene lugar en el marco del debate cultural catalán. Este volumen estudia el fenómeno de la vanguardia en el marco del fenómeno nacional. El libro reúne ensayos inéditos sobre aspectos fundamentales de la vanguardia en los Países Catalanes y sobre algunos de sus protagonistas. Ensayos de Juan Ramon Resina, Giuseppe Grilli, Joan Abelló Juanpere, Manuel Duran, Enric Bou, Antonio Monegal y José B. Monleón, entre otros.

Naomi Sawelson-Gorse, ed. Women in DADA. Essays on Sex, Gender, and Identity. The MIT Press, 1998. ISBN: 0-262-19409-0.

This book is the first to make the case that women's changing role in European and American society was critical to Dada. Debates about birth control and suffrage, a declining male populations and expanding female workforce, the emergence of the New Woman, and Freudianism were among the forces that contributed to the dadaist enterprise. Essays by Elizabeth Hutton Turner, William A. Camfield, Amelia Jones, Susan Fillin-Yeh, Williard Bohn, Whitney Chadwick, Rudolf E. Kuenzli and Renée Riese Hubert, among others.

"In Naomi Sawelson-Gorse's superb anthology, we can finally see and hear clearly the period's women artists and intellectual entrepreneurs as they strut through and peer out the pages of this revisionist Dada history. Equally, we see the male dadaists in a new light as the contributors argue convincingly for a gendered analysis of not only certain key individual art works, but of the movement itself.

-Moira Roth, Mills College

Susan Rubin Suleiman. Subversive Intent. Gender, Politics, and the Avant-Garde. Harvard University Press, 1990. ISBN: 0-674-85384-9.

With this book, Suleiman lays the foundation for a postmodern feminist poetics of the avant-garde. She shows how the figure of Woman, as fantasy, myth, or metaphor, has functioned in the work of male avant-garde writers and artists in this century, and the process offers illuminating interpretations of major avant-garde writers.

"These revisionist essays on the writings, particularly the écriture féminine, associated with the French avant-garde are a model of lucidity and good sense. Susan Suleiman is a marvelous critic-lively, energetic, incisive-and never less than interesting."

-Marjorie Perloff, Stanford University

Vicky Unruh. Latin American Vanguards. The Art of Contentious Encounters. University of California Press, 1994. ISBN: 0-520-08794-1.

In this first comprehensive study, Unruh explores the provocative and polemic nature of Latin America's literary vanguards of the 1920s and 1930s. She portrays the vanguardism of Spanish America and Brazil as a form of experimental cultural activity that was not limited to any one mode of expression.

"Latin American Vanguards: The Art of Contentious Encounters will become the standard reference on the Latin America vanguard. The time was ripe for an ambitious undertaking like this one, and Unruh does not disappoint."

-Gustavo Pérez-Firmat, Duke University

Hugo J. Verani. Las vanguardias literarias en Hispanoamérica. Manifiestos, proclamas y otros escritos. Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1995. ISBN: 968-16-4774-2.

Este libro reúne manifiestos, proclamas y otros escritos que documentan la presencia de las vanguardias literarias en Hispanoamérica. Verani ha rescatado documentos de enorme valor crítico: hojas murales, artículos periodísticos, revistas de aparición efímera, libros de ediciones fortuitas. El volumen se inicia con un crucial ensayo sobre las vanguardias literarias y una bibliografía selecta. Se incluyen importantes documentos de la actividad vanguardista en México, República Dominicana, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Perú, Chile, Argentina y Uruguay.