By Raoul Vaneigem
A down-and-dirty survey of the surrealist circulate written by way of best situationist theorist Raoul Vaneigem. Vaneigem’s cartoon bars no holds, blistering on surrealism’s inventive and political aporias, and choked with telling quotations, it supplies recognize the place recognize is due, laying off loads of gentle 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
I f Surrealism was to be in the train of a revolu tion whose only possible motor was the Communist Party, the fate of poetry-not to mention that of the revolutionaries-was surely sealed. Happily, the content of the new periodical tended to belie its title. Crevel, summarizing the state of play in the third issue, was able to write: Surrealism : not a school but a movementi does not therefore speak ex cathedra but goes to see, goes in search of knowl- 22 edge, of knowledge applied to the Revolution (via a poetic route).
In response to Breton's diatribes in the Second Manifesto, the excludees issued a violent pamphlet which emulated the tone and borrowed the title of the compendium of insults earlier directed at Anatole France: Un Cadavre [A Corpse]. The "Bar Maldoror"-a pre mature attempt at commercial co-optation-was sacked by Breton and his friends. Bufiuel's film rAge d'or roused the ire of war veterans and of the Right. One particularly fine expression of anger, an open letter to the top student applicant of the year admitted to the Saint Cyr Military Academy, exposed Georges Sadoul, one of the signa tories, to a three-year prison term.
Man, that inveterate dreamer, daily more discontent with his lot, has trouble assessing the objects he has been led to use, objects that his nonchalance has brought his way, or that he has earned through his own efforts, almost always through his own efforts, for he has agreed to work, at least he has not refused to try his luck (or what he calls his luckl). At this point he feels extremely modest: he knows what women he has had, what silly affairs he has been involved in; he is unimpressed by his wealth or poverty, in this respect he is a newborn babe and, as for the approval of his conscience, I confess that he does very nicely without it.