Based on the author's dissertation--Yale University.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 261-268) and index.
Margaret Cohen's encounter with Walter Benjamin, one of the 20th century's most influential cultural and literary critics, has produced a radically new reading of surrealist thought and practice. Benjamin and Andre Breton emerge in her account as important representatives of what Cohen calls "Gothic Marxism", whose fascination with the irrational aspects of social processes she highlights in discussions of Benjamin's "Passagen-Werk" and Breton's major prose texts from the 1920s and 1930s. Cohen analyzes the links between Breton's surrealist fusion of psychoanalysis and Marxism, and Benjamin's post-Enlightenment challenge to Marxist theory. She also argues that Breton's surrealist Marxism plays a formative role in shaping post-World War II French intellectual life and is of continued relevance to the contemporary intellectual scene. (source: Nielsen Book Data)