By Raoul Vaneigem

A down-and-dirty survey of the surrealist circulate written by way of top situationist theorist Raoul Vaneigem. Vaneigem’s cartoon bars no holds, blistering on surrealism’s creative and political aporias, and jam-packed with telling quotations, it offers appreciate the place appreciate is due, laying off loads of gentle on situationist attitudes, unfavorable and confident, in the direction of their surrealist predecessors.

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Extra resources for A Cavalier History of Surrealism

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And, among the Surrealists, Rene Creve\ . Like Artaud , Creve! " Dada held up a mirror to survival as an absence of real life and as a directly apprehended reality, thus "making its shame more shameful"; suicide constituted a condemnation, by way of the negative, of sur­ vival's logic of death. Being an ideology, Surrealism was a strictly static vision whose impression upon history could never surpass the weight which his­ tory itself accorded it (as distinct from revolutionary theory, which starts out from history, then returns to history and moves it forward) ; for Surrealism, survival, suicide and death were the starting point which life was supposed to negate, but which it could not transform without first achieving a state of "absolute deviation".

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 .

Dressed in a most elegant white robe, bent under the weight of his cross, Jesus o ffers his back to whatever blows might be forthcoming. As soon as Pontius Pilate has washed his hands of the accused, the sexual symbolism becomes crystal-clear. Jesus falls, then gets up again: in other words, he has come, and is ready to come again under the whips of the athletic types with their skimpy costumes . And, just a s the young newly-wed wife call s for her mother, so frightened is she so of voluptuous pleasure , so Jesus continually calls out for his father.

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A Cavalier History of Surrealism by Raoul Vaneigem


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