During the early days of the Second World War, the Catalan painter Joan Miro created a startling series of twenty-three gouaches, his Constellations, works redolent with the nightmare of contemporary events. In 1958, the French poet Andre Breton composed his own "Constellations," a set of hermetic prose poems meant to "illustrate"—that is, not simply to shed light on, but to lend luster to—Miro's paintings, and to resume a peripatetic dialogue about exile. In Constellations of Miro, Breton, Paul Hammond unravels some of the mysteries of the call-and-response of these two surrealists by reading the pictures against the poetry, the poetry against the pictures, and both against the madness of a history that none of us has left that far behind.
Featured in this edition are reproductions of the complete series of Joan Miro's Constellations and a translation of Andre Breton's "proses paralleles." Also included is Andre Breton's essay, "Constellations of Joan Miro," as well as documentary illustrations and photographs.