Download PDF by Raoul Vaneigem: A Cavalier History of Surrealism

By Raoul Vaneigem

A down-and-dirty survey of the surrealist circulate written by way of top situationist theorist Raoul Vaneigem. Vaneigem’s caricature bars no holds, blistering on surrealism’s inventive and political aporias, and choked with telling quotations, it provides appreciate the place recognize is due, laying off loads of gentle on situationist attitudes, damaging and optimistic, in the direction of their surrealist predecessors.

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Extra resources for A Cavalier History of Surrealism

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POST-WAR YEARS After 1 945 Surrealism began firing i ts last salvoes. It lived on with­ out achieving clearer definitio n . The movement turned its attention in a more determined manner towards mysticism and alchemy, while its pol i tical effusions betrayed growi ng confusion and vapidity. In 1 946 the pamphlet Liberte est un mot vietnamien (Liberty Is a Vietnamese Word] protested against French repression in Indochi na. Inaug ural Break ( 1 947) was a denunciation of Stal inism-though in 1956 the Surrealists would express the hope that after the Khrushchev speech at the Twentieth Congress of the Soviet Communist Party a new broom would be applied to the party apparatus.

Then comes the vinegar-soaked sponge , signalling the contempt of the handsomest of Jesus's ruffianly guards for this tatter­ demalion yearning to be his pretty boy. In other words , the legionary in question, who can hardly have failed to spot the practised hips o f Mary Magdalene a m o n g thp whores crowding around the foot o f the cross , flatly refuses to pay Jesus the hommage of even the tiniest drop of sem­ inal fluid, and in effect pisses in his mouth to underline the point. So . .

Subj ectivity, which Surrealism simultaneously obscured and illu­ mi nated, i s one o f those fragmentary spheres whose flights of lyri ­ cism may mask their fai lure to evolve into revolutionary theory. " And throughout his work Breton repeatedly emphasize s the i rreducible aspect of each i ndividual, the 51 magic of the surrender to chance, the pursuit of adventure real or imaginary, and the revelation of unsuspected desires. " Yet neither this prescription of Batail le's nor Breton's meditation s o n chance (which Nietzsche defined as "yourself bringing yoursel f to yoursel f") opens the way to a practical investment of the riches of subjectivity in the collective struggle for the total liberation of the individual .

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A Cavalier History of Surrealism by Raoul Vaneigem


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