In 1926, when she first met André Breton in Paris, Léona Delcourt was twenty-four and had decided to call herself Nadja – the beginning of the Russian word nadezhda, hope. In the autobiographical novel Nadja, published in 1928, Breton describes Nadja as hovering between the height of creativity and the depths of madness. In the year following their first encounter, before she entered a psychiatric hospital in 1927, Nadja sent Breton twenty-seven letters that are a flow of memories, loving words, reproaches, doodles, and drawings, signed with the imprint of a kiss in red lipstick. Though they may seem like chaotic ramblings, these messages are the verbal-visual trace of a sensibility perfectly attuned to Surrealism, and appear to combine the psychic automatism embraced by the movement with a personal symbolism difficult to decipher. Among these signs there is a flower that is magical like the entire composition: Nadja calls it “la fleur des amants” and draws its petals like coupled eyes, including it in many drawings as a seal of her love. In one letter to Breton, for instance, the flower is in the jaws of a snake; accompanied by the words “l’enchantment de Nadja,” it shows that the occult forces from which it blooms go far beyond the madness that the modern world attributes to its author.