Ideas Have No Smell: Three Belgian Surrealist Booklets by Paul Nougé, Paul Colinet, and Louis Scutenaire

Ugly Duckling Presse


Box set of three booklets / 121 x 156 mm / pp

ISBN 978-1-946433-13-8


The Belgian Surrealist movement, like its contemporary French cousin, included both visual artists—René Magritte most famously—and writers, who were also its theorists. They shared with the Parisians a fierce commitment to personal, political and aesthetic liberty, and to humor, surprise and transgression as artistic strategies, but they parted company when it came to the unconscious and the occult.

Ideas Have No Smell collects the first English-language translation of three Belgian Surrealist works: Transfigured Publicity, visual texts by poet and photographer Paul Nougé; the whimsical, hand-drawn artist’s book, Abstractive Treatise on Obeuse by Paul Colinet; and For Balthazar, a collection of aphorisms and observations by the ever skeptical author, lawyer, and anarchist Louis Scutenaire.

In addition to the booklets presented in a facsimile-style translation by M. Kasper, this special edition includes an introduction by scholar Mary Ann Caws and a poster reproduction of the 1926 handwritten panneau of Nougé’s visual poems.