Download e-book for iPad: A Cavalier History of Surrealism by Raoul Vaneigem

By Raoul Vaneigem

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

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Extra info for A Cavalier History of Surrealism

Sample text

I� yuung parricide, who had been condemned to death, the Surreal ists saluted a symbol of active resistance to oppression by the family. I t is hard, though, to explain the failure of the group to raise a similar cry i n support of the Papin sisters, servants who around the same time illustrated Swift's Directions to Servants after their own fashion by murdering their mis­ tress and her daughter. It is true that by this time political events were fast gathering momentum . Relations between the Surrealists and the Communist Party leadership grew ever more hostile.

Having reached that point, it behoved Surrealism, as a mirror held up to the power of death, to inaugurate an anti-Surrealism capable of combining in a single practice the struggle against all forms of oppression and the defence of every positive spark thrown up by everyday life. On such a proj ect, which the Situationists clearly formulated in the early 1960s, the Surrealists possessed but a few scattered insights, and the only cohesion they could achieve here was a lyri ­ cism endowing these fragments with an illusory unity.

Or these , from "La Stabil isation du franc": If the pigs ' ears quiver It is because "LA Marseillaise" is being sung Come on children of the shit bucket Let's fi1/ Poincarts ear with our snot And let us not forget two cl assics , "La Mort hero·ique du lieu­ tenant Condamine de l a Tour"- Rot Condamine de la Tour With your eyes the Pope will make communion wafers for your Moroccan sergeant and your prick will become his brigadier's baton Rot Condamine de la Tour Rot you spineless shit -an d "Epitaphe sur un monumen t aux morts de la guerre" [Epitaph o n a Monument to the War Dead] , which Peret en tered i n the l i ter­ ary contest of the Academie Fran<;aise: 44 The general told us with his finger up his bum The enemy is that way Move out It was for the fatherland So off we went with our fingers up our bums In Breton it i s possible to find the somewhat scattered makin gs of a l ibertarian position .

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A Cavalier History of Surrealism by Raoul Vaneigem


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