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This book by Mary Ann Caws – a scholar, translator and associate of the Surrealists – describes the essential characteristics that define Surrealism, as well as tracing a concise path through the chronology of this prolific and wide-ranging movement. The text also demonstrates how surrealist art and writing are interdependent. The Works section follows the movement from its beginnings in the 1920s up to the 1940s and 1950s. Its six sections trace the themes which predominated at different stages – Chance and Freedom – the earliest work, characterized by complete automatic spontaneity; Poetics of Vision – the strategies of surrealist image-making, reflecting the mind’s inner visions; Elusive Objects – the fascination with objects of all kinds from which emerged artworks such as Meret Oppenheim’s celebrated fur-lined cup and saucer; Desire – the investigation of desire, eroticism and ‘mad love’ which is central and unique to the movement; Delirium – Surrealism’s high-risk engagement with extreme mental states and disturbing, uncanny visions; and, the Infinite Terrains of later Surrealism, ranging from Joseph Cornell’s magical assemblages in box frames, like ‘theatres of the mind’, to the infinite fields and dynamic energy of late surrealist painting at the dawn of Abstract Expressionism.