Le Paysan de Paris
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
It was dedicated to the surrealist painter André Masson and its preface was on the theme of a modern mythology. The two main sections of the books describe two places in Paris in great detail: Le Passage de l'Opera and Parc des Buttes-Chaumont. The detailed descriptions provide a realistic backdrop for surrealist spectacles such as the transformation of a shop into a seascape in which a siren appears and then disappears. This literary device is le merveilleux quotidien — a contrast of the mundane with the marvellous.
Arnold Bennett described the work as stimulating but uneven. He thought it the best of the six books which he bought in Paris when visiting there in 1927. Louis Aragon was disappointed with the book's reception by the French literary establishment which he considered too bourgeois and commercial.