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This clear and challenging re-evaluation of the status and usage of photographic images in historical surrealism puts surrealism’s fundamental issues back into the framework of its historical purpose and function. David Bate asks what a surrealist photograph actually is. He discusses automatism and the photographic image, the surrealist passion for insanity, their ambivalent use of Orientalism and adoption of Sadean philosophy and the effect of fascism on the surrealists. Locating the use of photography by surrealists within the cultural discourses of that historical moment, ‘Photography and surrealism’ is a genuinely original contribution to the field. The book is illustrated with a range of surrealist images.