Dalí‘s montaigne: Essay hybrids and surrealist practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter analyses the hybridization of the essay with visual genres such as illustration, photography, film, and video, an emergent tendency throughout the twentieth century that underscores the shared features of essayism and Surrealism. These include the use of a logic of digression and free association, a focus on the inner life of the self, the dismissal of formal strictures, the deployment of sensory perception, memory, intuition, and imagination towards expressive ends, and the reliance on images. Beginning with Salvador Dalí‘s illustrations for Montaigne’s Essays (1947), the chapter then turns to James Agee and Walker Evans’ collaborative photo essay Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941), Chris Marker’s essay-film Sans soleil (1982), and John Bresland’s video essay Mangoes (2010) in order to pinpoint the shared affinities between essayism and Surrealism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOn Essays
Subtitle of host publicationMontaigne to the Present
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9780198707868
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Chris marker
  • Essay-film
  • Hybridization
  • James agee
  • John bresland
  • Michel de montaigne
  • Photo essay
  • Salvador dalí
  • Video essay
  • Walker evans


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