The Man of Jasmine & Other Texts (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
The Man of Jasmine & Other Texts By Unica Zürn, Malcolm Green (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Unica Zürn, Malcolm Green (Introduction by)
On Our Shelves Now
2 on hand, as of Mar 23 3:43am
1 on hand, as of Mar 23 3:33am
Downtown Brooklyn
1 on hand, as of Mar 23 3:45am

Staff Reviews

Unica Zurn’s surreal depiction of mental disintegration is one of my favorites ever committed to the page. It’s dark, erratic, paranoid, and obsessive, and unfortunately for her, semi-autobiographical. I highly recommend The Man of Jasmine if you like the films of Maya Deren or Curtis Harrington.

— Lexi


Anagram play meets psychic crisis in Unica Z rn's acclaimed Surrealist document of mental precarity

In the 25 years since Atlas Press first published this account by Unica Z rn (1916-70) of her long history of mental crises, she has come to be recognized as a great artist at least the equal of her partner, the Surrealist Hans Bellmer. Yet her work is barely comprehensible without the texts printed here--now revised by translator Malcolm Green--in which she demonstrates how Surrealist conceptions of the psyche allowed her to welcome the most alarming experiences as offering access to an inner existence that was the vital source for her artistic output. Green's introduction to this volume was the first study to consider her life and work from this perspective.

Z rn's first mental collapse was initiated when she encountered her fantasy figure, "the Man of Jasmine," in the person of the writer and artist Henri Michaux. This meeting plunged her into a hallucinatory world in which visions of her desires, anxieties and events from her unresolved past overwhelmed her present life. Her greatest works were produced during times of mental crisis, often when confined in asylums, and she tended to encourage the onset of these crises in order to provoke intense creativity. Her description of these episodes reveals how language itself was part of the divinatory method that could aid her recovery or predict a new crisis. Her compulsion for composing anagrams allowed her to release from everyday language an astonishing flood of messages, threats and evocations. This method, and Z rn's eloquent yet direct style, make this book a literary masterpiece, while providing a rare insight into extreme psychological states.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781900565820
ISBN-10: 190056582X
Publisher: Atlas Press LLC
Publication Date: January 12th, 2021
Pages: 192
Language: English