Together with Nezval's previous two collections, The Absolute Gravedigger forms one of the most important corpora of interwar Surrealist poetry. Yet here his wild albeit restrained mix of absolute freedom and formal perfection has shifted its focus to explore the darker imagery of putrefaction and entropy, the line breaks in the shorter lyric poems slicing the language into fragments that float in the mind with open-ended meaning and a multiplicity of readings. Inspired by Salvador Dalí's paranoiac-critical method, the poems go in directions that are at first unimaginable but continue to evolve unexpectedly until they resolve or dissolve – like electron clouds, they have a form within which a seemingly chaotic energy reigns. Nezval’s language, however, is under absolute control, allowing him to reach into the polychromatic clouds of Surrealist uncertainty to form shapes we recognize, though never expected to see, to meld images and concepts into a constantly developing and dazzling kaleidoscope.
In this, The Absolute Gravedigger is a valuable example of the avant-garde's response to the tumult of the 1930s -- but that is far from its only merit. - L.A Review of Books
The Absolute Gravedigger is an appealing little volume, with many striking pieces, with some context and useful background provided in the Afterword, where the translators also discuss some of their translation choices and approaches (as, unsurprisingly, some of this is hard to translated directly). It is also an impressively varied collection: while certainly of Nezval's surrealist-period, this manifests itself in a variety of ways and approaches - welcome shifts of poetic strangeness from section to section. - Complete Review