Open Sesame: Dorothea Tanning’s Critical Writing

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Alongside her better-known visual oeuvre as a painter and sculptor, Dorothea Tanning (1910–2012) also produced a smaller, although by no means less interesting, literary output. Indeed, her writings could be said to inform her visual art and vice versa. She worked on her one novel (or, more accurately, novella), Chasm: A Weekend, from 1947 to 2004, almost the span of her entire career. Set in the desert of the South-West, it is tempting to read the novella as a fictive biography of its author who lived in Arizona sporadically between 1943 and 1957, as well as a micro-history of western women’s struggles since the Salem witch trials of 1692.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSurrealist Women's Writing
Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Exploration
EditorsAnna Watz
Place of PublicationManchester, UK
PublisherManchester University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5261-3204-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-5261-3202-4, 978-1-5261-6715-6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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