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Surrealism and the Sublime or the vertiginous plunging into the real

Chapter


Abstract


  • Despite lifting the veil of those most primordial of forces, Eros and Thanatos,

    both of which are rooted in the material, if not base, the Surrealists

    have never ceased to incur criticism for eluding material reality. Little

    credit is given to them for approaching areas of human experience which

    have frequently been considered to be too taboo for representation, their

    explorations of the erotic and the deathly being frequently dismissed as

    poetic sublimations, which signify a flight from reality. They have thus been

    aligned with a specific agenda, most notably that of propagating a covert

    idealism which encourages its members to indulge in oneiric solipsism

    and thereby keep their heads immovably above the clouds. Moreover, the

    popular perception of Surrealism's leader which lingers on today is generally

    that of the young Andre Breton, the romantic idealist, who as a young

    man fought to reclaim the rights of the imagination and lost himself in

    poetry's forest of symbols, rather than the man who, as Foucault described

    him, tried to bring knowledge (that is to say, psychoanalysis, ethnology and

    art history) into literature in the manner of Goethe and took an interest

    in all aspects of the real.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • James, K. E. (2010). Surrealism and the Sublime or the vertiginous plunging into the real. In A. Damlé & A. L¿Hostis (Eds.), The Beautiful and the Monstrous. Essays in French Literature, Thought and Culture (pp. 105-122). Oxford: Peter Lang.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9783039119004

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/2068

Book Title


  • The Beautiful and the Monstrous. Essays in French Literature, Thought and Culture

Start Page


  • 105

End Page


  • 122

Place Of Publication


  • Oxford

Abstract


  • Despite lifting the veil of those most primordial of forces, Eros and Thanatos,

    both of which are rooted in the material, if not base, the Surrealists

    have never ceased to incur criticism for eluding material reality. Little

    credit is given to them for approaching areas of human experience which

    have frequently been considered to be too taboo for representation, their

    explorations of the erotic and the deathly being frequently dismissed as

    poetic sublimations, which signify a flight from reality. They have thus been

    aligned with a specific agenda, most notably that of propagating a covert

    idealism which encourages its members to indulge in oneiric solipsism

    and thereby keep their heads immovably above the clouds. Moreover, the

    popular perception of Surrealism's leader which lingers on today is generally

    that of the young Andre Breton, the romantic idealist, who as a young

    man fought to reclaim the rights of the imagination and lost himself in

    poetry's forest of symbols, rather than the man who, as Foucault described

    him, tried to bring knowledge (that is to say, psychoanalysis, ethnology and

    art history) into literature in the manner of Goethe and took an interest

    in all aspects of the real.

Publication Date


  • 2010

Citation


  • James, K. E. (2010). Surrealism and the Sublime or the vertiginous plunging into the real. In A. Damlé & A. L¿Hostis (Eds.), The Beautiful and the Monstrous. Essays in French Literature, Thought and Culture (pp. 105-122). Oxford: Peter Lang.

International Standard Book Number (isbn) 13


  • 9783039119004

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/lhapapers/2068

Book Title


  • The Beautiful and the Monstrous. Essays in French Literature, Thought and Culture

Start Page


  • 105

End Page


  • 122

Place Of Publication


  • Oxford