Recently, Stephen Bronner author of Modernism at the Barricades: Aesthetics, Politics, Utopia, took The Page 99 Test. The test, thought up by Ford Maddox Ford, posits that the 99th page of a book determines the quality of a book.
Bronner expresses some skepticism about this adage but then grudgingly admits that the “page is somewhat indicative of my general enterprise”. The page in question considers the myth of the surrealist dialectic and Bronner explains how the page fits in with the book’s aims:
Modernism at the Barricades explores the interplay between aesthetics, philosophy, and politics in the major avant-garde movements that marked the first three decades of the twentieth century. I mostly focus on figures who reflected that intersection. Andre Breton was one of them. The guiding force of surrealism, he was also a seminal figure of modernism. My engagement with him as a thinker and the philosophical pretensions of surrealism is critical in character. But that is the case for the book as a whole insofar as it seeks to reinterpret modernism with an eye on its legacy for our time and contemporary cultural politics.”