Down Below (NYRB Classics)

Down Below (NYRB Classics) Author Leonora Carrington
ISBN-10 1681370603
ISBN-13 9781681370606
Year 2017-04-18
Pages 112
Language English
Publisher NYRB Classics
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A stunning work of memoir and an unforgettable depiction of the brilliance and madness by one of Surrealism s most compelling figuresIn 1937 Leonora Carringtonlater to become one of the twentieth centurys great painters of the weird the alarming and the wildwas a nineteen year old art student in London beautiful and unapologetically rebellious At a dinner party she met the artist Max Ernst The two fell in love and soon departed to live and paint together in a farmhouse in Provence In 1940 the invading German army arrested Ernst and sent him to a concentration camp Carrington suffered a psychotic break She wept for hours Her stomach became the mirror of the earthof all worlds in a hostile universeand she tried to purify the evil by compulsively vomiting As the Germans neared the south of France a friend persuaded Carrington to flee to Spain Facing the approach of robots of thoughtless fleshless beings she packed a suitcase that bore on a brass plate the word Revelation This was only the beginning of a journey into madness that was to end with Carrington confined in a mental institution overwhelmed not only by her own terrible imaginings but by her doctors sadistic course of treatment In Down Below she describes her ordealin which the agonizing and the marvelous were equally combinedwith a startling almost impersonal precision and without a trace of self pity Like Daniel Paul Schrebers Memoirs of My Nervous Illness Down Below brings the hallucinatory logic of madness home

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