Nadja is an illustrated novel; containing photographs of locations along the walks, the facades of bars they go to, objects found at flea markets, important surrealist works which Breton and Nadja discuss including Chirico's paintings and the drawings which Nadja herself makes for Breton. These drawings are the most exciting part, and these are the images I have included in this post. Nadja imagines herself as a mermaid with her back to the viewer, she draws strange symbols like a tribal mask which can't be explained and Breton describes them with his affection for her. Why can't all novels be illustrated? It turns it into this beautiful thing, this book object.
In terms of my dissertation, Breton's pursuit of the woman in the street is something the women I am reading are reacting against. I should condemn his fanciful affair with a woman whom we are later told ends up in an institution. Breton without sympathy or nostalgia wavers all responsibility for pushing her over the brink. But in a way its surrealism has captivated me, I think its romantic.
'Beauty is like a train that ceaselessly roars out of the Gare de Lyon and which I know will never leave, which has not left. It consists of jolts and shocks, many of which do not have much importance, but which we know are destined to produce one Shock, which does. [...] Beauty, neither static nor dynamic. The human heart, beautiful as a seismograph. [...] Beauty will be CONVULSIVE or not be at all'