In Compulsive Beauty, Foster reads surrealism from its other, darker side: as an art given over to the uncanny, to the compulsion to repeat and the drive toward death.
Foster (art history and comparative literature, Cornell U.) explores the relationship between Andre Breton's artistic experiments and the work of his contemporary, Freud, then shows how the psychoanalytic elements have continued to influence surrealist representation of sex and death, mechanization and commodification, and other concerns. He also ponders the fate of surrealism in a world that looks increasingly like the paintings. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)