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Writing the Virgin's Body: Breton and Eluard's Immaculée Conception

Katharine Conley
The French Review
Vol. 67, No. 4 (Mar., 1994), pp. 600-608
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/396922
Page Count: 9
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Writing the Virgin's Body: Breton and Eluard's Immaculée Conception
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Abstract

Of all the muses for Surrealism's experiments with automatism-whom I call "automatic" women-the Virgin Mary as the Immaculate Conception, from André Breton and Paul Eluard's 1930 automatic text, L'Immaculée Conception, stands out as the muse-figure who most compellingly embodies the surrealist project. The Virgin is particularly emblematic of the disruptive force of surprise, that quintessentially surrealist notion. In her body, she also serves as a metaphor for the automatic text itself: her appearances are unpredictable, her words even more so. Consequently, she acts as a governing force within L'Immaculée Conception, and not merely as its irreverently amusing figurehead.

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