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Twisted Spoon Press

PO Box 21 - Preslova 12, 150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic

Book details:
Woman in Plural

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also by the author:
The Absolute Gravedigger
Valerie and Her
Week of Wonders

A Prague Flâneur
Edition 69
Farewell and a Handkerchief


  woman in the plural
Verse, Diary Entries, Poetry for the Stage,
Surrealist Experiments

by Vítězslav Nezval

translated from the Czech
by Stephan Delbos and Tereza Novická

frontispieces & cover image by Karel Teige

In the summer of 1935, Vítězslav Nezval, already one of the most celebrated Czech poets of his generation, embarked on a period of manic creativity that would result in three volumes of poetry written and published in a two-year span (1935-37), mirrored by three volumes of memoir-like poetic prose. These collections would not only reshape Czech poetry, blending approaches developed by the French Surrealists with national cultural sensibilities and political concerns, taken together they are among the highest achievements of the interwar avant-garde. Woman in the Plural (1936), the first volume in this loose trilogy, adopted "objective chance" as its modus operandi (whereas the third and final volume, The Absolute Gravedigger (1937), was guided by the paranoiac-critical method).

Here Nezval spins images of the female form like a zoetrope to create novel and hallucinatory ways of conceiving woman’s mythical, divine, and creative power. A major contribution to the era’s internationalization of Surrealism, this eclectic collection addresses the social and political instability of the 1930s while also displaying Nezval’s prodigious talents in a variety of forms, styles, and genres. Profound free verse, at times reading like a cascade of automatic writing, is paired with pages from Nezval’s dream journal, an exuberant set of Surrealist exercises, and a full-length play of chance encounters with “a woman like any other.” Never before translated into English, Woman in the Plural is a vibrant, volatile collection, a true tour de force from one of the greatest European artists of the 20th century.


What others say:

One of the most beautiful of Nezval's collections and one of the most interesting books in the entire corpus of modern Czech poetry.

— Vilém Závada, Gazette for Art and Critique (1936)


ISBN 9788086264561
198 pp.
135 x 190 mm
2 B/W collages
hardcover w/ ribbon bookmark
literature : surrealism
RRP: $21 • £15

release dates:
UK: February 8, 2021
US: April 5, 2021

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