The House of Fear: notes from Down Below

Leonora Carrington


Book, 21.1 x 14 cm, 216 p, language: English, publisher: E.P. Dutton, ISBN: 978-0525246480.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2026/127).

Literary synopsis

The events and locales of World War II in Europe provide the setting for a series of four surrealistic autobiographical novellas that concern the author's romantic and artistic involvement with Max Ernst and her subsequent descent into madness.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

Some have suggested that at least some of the stories should not be understood literally but as magic realism — a response to her own mental state and events at the time. The sense of a hybrid world (half recognisable, half fantasy) was characteristic of her playful and vividly coloured paintings as well, many of them populated by strange and slightly menacing figures — elongated women in big cloaks, many-armed lizard-snakes, creatures half-human-half-wolf, people turning into birds, faces within bodies — often combined with arcane occult or religious symbols.

Authorship: Artist Author.

Creative Strategy: No Link to Artworks.

Genre: Autobiography, Fantasy.

Publishing: Publishing House.

Theme: Drugs, Mental Illness, War.

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