Jonathan Mirsky

Angkor Where?

Ghost Ships: A Surrealist Love Triangle

By

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I CAN THINK of many titles for this sometimes intriguing book – ‘The Sky, the Sea and the Jungle: Asia and the Surrealists’, for example – but I would never have suggested ‘A Surrealist Love Triangle’. That gives the impression that it’s primarily about the unhappy three-way relationship, lasting from 1921 until 1924, of the French poet Paul Eluard, his Russian wife Gala (one of the most dangerous women I have ever read about; she later hooked up with Salvador Dali), and the German painter Max Ernst. One might assume that the book follows their affair from Germany to Paris to Saigon. That would be a terrific story.

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