Hebdomeros (with Monsieur Dudron's Adventure and other Metaphysical Writings)

Giorgio de Chirico


Book, 20.2 x 15.1 cm, 258 p, language: English, publisher: Exact Change, Cambridge, MA, ISBN: 978-1-878972-06-4.
Materials: ink, paper

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. B 2025/628).

Literary synopsis

First published in 1929 as Hebdomeros the Metaphysician the novel is a dream-like book of situations and landscapes reminiscent of de Chirico’s paintings. In his introduction, John Ashbery calls the book "the finest work of Surrealist fiction," noting that de Chirico "invented for the occasion a new style and a new kind of novel . . . his long run-on sentences, stitched together with semi-colons, allow a cinematic freedom of narration . . . his language, like his painting, is invisible; a transparent but dense medium containing objects that are more real than reality." Hebdomeros is accompanied by an appendix of previously untranslated or uncollected writings, including M. Dudron's Adventure, a second, fragmentary novel.

Relation of the novel to the artist’s practice

In 1917 in the Ferrara military hospital, de Chirico met a compatriot, also a painter, Carlo Carrà (1881-1966), and together they founded Metaphysical painting. De Chirico's Metaphysical paintings were hugely influential on Surrealist artists, who recognized in them the eloquent expression of the unconscious and nonsensical to which they themselves aspired. In 1918 de Chirico and Carrà contributed to the periodical Valori Plastici which gave a literary aspect to Metaphysical painting.

Novel's website

Authorship: Artist Author.

Creative Strategy: No Link to Artworks.

Genre: Absurdist, Satire.

Publishing: Publishing House.

Theme: Humor, Philosophy, Time Travel.

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