But it wasn’t until I was in college, when I was a freshman in college, that I actually was in the art library, and I found Breton’s Manifesto of Surrealism, and I read the first one and the second one, which are extraordinary documents. And it articulated something to me that I felt to be totally true, that put the imagination at the center of experience, not the rational mind. And you know, through that just going to a library, looking up André Breton, finding his poems, finding Éluard’s poems, finding that fabulous anthology of surrealist poetry edited by Michael Benedikt, it’s been out of print for a long time.


It just — I felt a real identification. Like much poetry, most surrealist poems are in fact how-to manuals. They’re how-to manuals about how to unlock the imagination, how to see life through the imagination. And that seems to me to be fundamental. I don’t know if I’d call it a lesson so much as a guided realization — that has been central to my life.

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