Dark Spring is an autobiographical coming-of-age novel that reads more like an exorcism than a memoir. In it author Unica Zurn traces the roots of her obsessions: The exotic father she idealized, the "impure" mother she detested, the masochistic fantasies and onanistic rituals which she said described "the erotic life of a little girl based on my own childhood." Dark Spring is the story of a young girl's simultaneous introduction to sexuality and mental illness, revealing a different aspect of the "mad love" so romanticized by the (predominantly male) Surrealists. Unica Zurn (1916-1970) emigrated in 1953 from her native Berlin to Paris in order to live with the artist Hans Bellmer. There she exhibited drawings as a member of the Surrealist group and collaborated with Bellmer on a series of notorious photographs of her nude torso bound with string. In 1957, a fateful encounter with the poet and painter Henri Michaux led to the first of what would become a series of mental crises, some of which she documented in her writings. She committed suicide in 1970--an act foretold in this, her last completed work.
About Unica Zurn
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Published October 1, 2008
by Exact Change.
Arts & Photography, Literature & Fiction.