The Full Weight of Surrealism

History of the Surrealist Movement Gérard Durozoi University of Chicago Press, 2002 This massive work, originally published in France in 1997, is actually a history of surrealism as it manifested itself in the visual arts—painting, sculpture, and film. The movement’s core literary expression receives short shrift in the book’s 800-plus pages. The political battles of […]

A Revival of Academic Surrealist Studies: Dada/Surrealism

Dada/Surrealism was the sole academic journal to devote itself to the study of these two related currents in the U.S. The scholarly study of Surrealism emerged here just slightly later than it did in France, with the publication of Anna Balakian’s Literary Origins of Surrealism in 1947. Dada/Surrealism‘s first issue appeared in 1971 and it […]

André Breton: 1968, 1996, 2012

To mark André Breton’s birthday—February 19, 1896—Criticism &c. presents here an excerpt from an essay by Julien Gracq, author of The Castle of Argol and Balcony in the Forest, which was written on the 100th anniversary of Breton’s birth and was printed in Le Monde. This English translation appeared in the journal L’Esprit Createur. • • • […]

‘Murderous Humanitarianism’, 1932 and 2011

The regime of Muammar el-Qaddafi is richly deserving of a definitive overthrow and Criticism &c. is in firm sympathy with the Libyans who are attempting—against long odds—to achieve one. The pathetic intervention of Britain, France, Italy (Libya’s fomer colonial master and present neo-colonial patron) and the U.S., with the blessing of the sclerotic Arab League, […]

Georges Henein: ‘Greater freedom in Egyptian society’

I recently came across an entry on Georges Henein in Multicultural Writers Since 1945: an A-to-Z Guide. The author is Cristina Boidard Boisson, an academic who wrote a doctoral dissertation on Henein and Surrealism at the University of Cadiz in 1993. The entry is quite good on Henein’s biography, however the break with Breton in […]

‘André Breton, born on February 19, 1896’

To mark André Breton’s birthday, I am sharing a brief excerpt from Anna Balakian’s biography, André Breton, Magus of Surrealism. Balakian was the first American scholar to study Surrealism (her Literary Origins of Surrealism was published in 1947) and despite the fact that she was an academic, she can be characterized as demonstrating a strongly […]

More on Georges Henein and the Egyptian Surrealists

I have just come across a recent interesting article on Henein and the Egyptian Surrealists in The Journal of Aesthetic Education (Vol. 44, No. 4, Winter 2010). The author is Patrick Kane. A translation of Henein’s manifesto can be found in Black, Brown and Beige: Surrealist Writings from Africa and the Diaspora, as well as selections […]