Rhizomaze : Neologism coined by the author from 'rhizome (noun) - 'an underground rootlike stem bearing both roots and shoots…' and 'maze (noun) - 'a network of paths and hedges designed as a puzzle for those who try to penetrate it.'
The Concise Oxford Dictionary, edited by D. Thompson, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1995, pps. 1182 and 843 respectively.
…its watchword is "Imagination"… Romanticism expressed an unending revolt against classical form, conservative morality, authoritarian government, personal insincerity, and human moderation.- Oxford Companion to English Literature, edited by M. Drabble, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 843.
Acknowledgement of romanticism as a precursor to surrealism,
…this romanticism, of which we are quite ready to appear historically today as the tail, though in that case an excessively prehensile tail…was delivered in a 1934 lecture by Andre Breton to a public meeting in Brussels. - A. Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected Writings, Chicago, Franklin Rosemond Ed, 1978, p. 132. Introduction to Romanticism
M. Ernst :
Being called upon to give here some idea of the first process to reveal itself to us and put us on track of others, I am inclined to say that it amounts to the exploiting of the fortuitous encounter upon a non-suitable plane of two mutually distant realities (this being a paraphrase and generalisation of the celebrated Lautreamont quotation, "Beautiful as a chance meeting upon a dissecting table of a sewing machine with an umbrella")…- Beyond Painting and other Writings by the Artist and his Friends, Wittenborn, Schultz, Inc., New York 1948, p. 21.
E. Rickward :
I say that one must be a visionary, make oneself a VISIONARY. The Poet makes himself a visionary by a long, immense and reasoned derangement of all the senses.- Rimbaud, The Boy and the Poet, London, William Heinemann Ltd, 1924, p. 203.
K. Coutts Smith :
But if anyone can be called the father of Dadaism, it surely must be Alfred pataphysics, who with his monstrous creation of Ubu Roi symbolized and castigated the bourgeiousie of the late nineteenth century… pataphysics also "invented" through the person of his character Dr Faustroll, the science of Pataphysics, the ironic "science of imaginary solutions", in which the admirable doctor maintains that the world consists of nothing but exceptions, and that the rule is precisely an exception to an exception; while as far as the universe is concerned, Faustroll defined it as "the exception to oneself."- Dada, Studio Vista/Dutton, London, 1970, p. 45.
For an extensive review of Pataphysics, see 'What is "Pataphysics?"' Evergreen Review , Vol. 4, No 13 May/June 1960, pps. 1‑192
When I said that it was necessary to spit every day on the Altar of Art… I urged the Futurists to destroy and mock the garlands, the palms, the aureoles, the precious frames, mantles and stoles, the entire historical wardrobe and romantic bric-a-brac that form a large part of all poetry before us.- F.T. Marinetti, Destruction of Syntax - Wireless Imagination Words in Freedom, in Richard J. Pioli, trans., Stung by Salt and Water: Creative Texts of Italian Avant-Gardist F.T. Marinetti, Peter Lang, New York 1987, p.51.
In language and in poetry, it advocated the destruction of traditional syntax, metre, and punctuation in the name of the "free word".- Oxford Companion to English Literature, edited by M. Drabble, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1985, p. 272.
The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism - F.T. Marinetti
It is the marvellous faculty of attaining two widely separate realities without departing from the realm of our experience, of bringing them together and drawing a spark from their contact: of gathering within reach of our senses abstract figures endowed with the same intensity, the same relief as other figures: and disorienting us in our own memory by depriving us of a frame of reference it is this faculty which for the present sustains dada.- A. Breton, Max Ernst, in M. Ernst, Beyond Painting and other Writings by the Artist and his Friends, New York, Wittenborn, Schultz, Inc. 1948, p. 177.
Surrealism (noun) : Pure psychic automatism, by which it is intended to express, verbally, in writing, or by other means, the real functioning of thought. The dictation of thought in the absence of all control exercised by reason and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations.
Encyclopedia Philos : Surrealism rests in the belief in the superior reality of certain forms of association neglected heretofore; in the omnipotence of the dream and in the disinterested play of thought…' - A. Breton, Manifesto of Surrealism, 1924, cited in A. Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected Writings, Chicago, Franklin Rosemond Ed, 1978, p. 122.
…since the conclusion of what one may term the purely intuitive epoch of surrealism (1919-1925) we have attempted to present interior reality and exterior reality as two elements in the process of unification, of finally becoming one.- A. Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected Writings, Chicago, Franklin Rosemond Ed, 1978, p. 116.
'…the liberation of the mind, the express aim of surrealism…'
Ibid, p. 115.
For synopses and links to surrealist writers, try Alan Gullette
Critical paranoia : the double image of Dali's surrealist painting courses through the arteries of surrealist poetica -
It doesnt look like a finger, it looks like a feather of broken glass- H. Sykes Davies, Poem, in E.B. Germain, Surrealist Poetry in English, Penguin, Middlesex 1978, p. 104
It doesnt look like something to eat, it looks like something eaten
It doesnt look like an empty chair, it looks like an old woman searching in a heap of stones
It doesnt look like a heap of stones, it looks like an estuary where the drifting filth is swept to and fro on the tide
It doesnt look like a finger, it looks like a feather with broken teeth…
Dreams : 'It should be understood that the real is a relation like any other; the essence of things is by no means linked to their reality, there are other relations besides reality, which the mind is capable of grasping and which also are primary, like chance, illusion, the fantastic, the dream. These various groups are brought into harmony in one single order, surreality.
…This surreality… is the common horizon of religions, magic, poetry, intoxications, and of all life that is lowly - that trembling honeysuckle you deem sufficient to populate the sky with for us.'
L. Aragon, Une Vague de Reves, in A. Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected Writings, Chicago, Franklin Rosemond Ed, 1978, p. 126.
'dreams and automatic writing… offer a key to go on opening indefinitely that box of never-ending drawers called man, and so dissuade him from making an about-turn for reasons of self-preservation on those occasions in the dark when he runs into doors - locked from the outside - of the beyond, of reality, of reason, of genius, and of love.'
A. Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected Writings, Chicago, Franklin Rosemond Ed, 1978, p. 134.
Automatic writing :
Punctuation, of course, necessarily hinders the stream of absolute continuity which preoccupies us… Trust in the inexhaustible character of the whisper.- Ibid, p. 123.
British surrealism kicked off in 1935 with the publication of A Short Survey of Surrealism, by David Gascoyne, who also penned the only English manifesto of surrealism, and with the 1936 International Exhibition of Surrealism in London, a huge success. Dealing with the grim reality of WW2, however, overshadowed the pursuit of surreality in Britain, all members of the Surrealist Group in London having abandoned it by 1947.
See Surrealist Poetry in English, edited by E.B. Germain, Penguin, Middlesex 1978, pps. 38‑39.
For example of English surrealist poetry, see Appendix A - D Gascoyne, The Very Image, in E.B. Germain Surrealist Poetry in English, Penguin, Middlesex 1978, pps. 32‑33.
The Beats : Echoes of automatic writing and Breton's
trust in the inexhaustible character of the whisperreverberate through Beat novelist Jack Kerouac's approach to prose :
Blow as deep as you want -- write as deeply, fish as far down as you want, satisfy yourself first, then reader cannot fail to receive telepathic shock and meaning-excitement by same laws operating in his own human mind… Nothing is muddy that runs in time and to laws of time -- Shakespearean stress of dramatic need to speak now in own unalterable way or forever hold tongue -- no revisions… write outwards swimming in sea of language to peripheral release and exhaustion… tap from yourself the song of yourself, blow! -- now! -- your way is your only way…
J. Kerouac, Essentials of Spontaneous Prose, cited in S. Silberman How Beat Happened
Surrealist incongruity of images resurfaces in Beat poetry :
…Turtles exploding over Istanbul
The jaguars flying foot soon to sink in arctic snow
Penguins plunged against the Sphinx
The top of the empire state arrowed in a broccoli field in Sicily
Eiffel shaped like a C in Magnolia Gardens…
G. Corso, Bomb, in A Charters, The Portable Beat Reader, New York, Penguin, 1992, pps. 174‑175.
K. Coutts-Smith : Dada, Studio Vista/Dutton, London, 1970, pps. 9‑21.
Ibid p. 148.
Ibid p. 32.
H. Lewis : Dada Turns Red -The Politics of Surrealism, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 1990, p. 18.
The important thing for literature lies in the fact that these manifestations of the collective unconsciousness have a compensatory character with relation to the state of [contemporary] consciousness; that is to say, that a one-sided, abnormal, dangerous state of consciousness is teleologically brought to equilibrium through it. The work emerging from the collective unconscious is in the deepest sense of the word a message to contemporaries. Every one of these poets, great or small, speaks with a voice of thousands, predicting changes in the contemporaneous consciousness.- C.G. Jung, 1930, cited in E.B. Germain, Surrealist Poetry in English, Penguin, Middlesex 1978, pps. 27‑28.
A. Breton : Surrealist Manifesto, cited in A. Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected Writings, Franklin Rosemond, editor, Chicago 1978, p. 126.
A. Breton : cited by E.B. Germain, Surrealist Poetry in English, Penguin, Middlesex 1978. p.30.
Basho quoted by Robert Bly in E. Faas, Towards a New American Poetics: Essays and Interviews, Black Sparrow Press, Santa Barbara 1979, p. 230.
Paranoic-critical activity :
Spontaneous method of "irrational knowledge" based on the critical and systematic objectification of delirious associations and interpretations.- Salvador Dali, cited by A. Breton, What is Surrealism? Selected Writings, Franklin Rosemond, editor, Chicago 1978, p. 137.
Ibid p. 136.
I. Hofmann : Documents of Dada and Surrealism : Dada and Surrealist Journals in the Mary Reynolds Collection, chapter 1
Ibid chapter 3
- Salvador Dali Museum
Salvador Dali 'developed the concept of Critical Paranoia for establishing a creative state of self-induced psychosis. Andre Breton often maligned him for its uses, a sign of its relative importance and usefulness.
'Consider the process akin to forcing a waking dream, a conscious transformation led by paranoid scrutiny of what presents itself in the surroundings. The simplest version, hardly critical, hardly paranoid, begins with the child's game of staring into banks of clouds, looking for the chariot riders, the giants and other fantasms of humidity. Elementary exercises can also be practiced through prolonged staring at ink blots, scribble drawings and the array of optical illusions that sell themselves in one of many new-age, self-help manuals designed to prove that you are on your way to a happier existence.
'Those cracks in the sidewalk, they look like an outline of the west coast of Mexico.
Those cracks in the sidewalk, they are the west coast of Mexico.
Those ants in the middle, they are eating the Yucutan.
Someone has stepped in Panama. They have left smudges in the Pacific.'
Critical Paranoia, or how to decisively split your vision in new directions… - J. Seabor
J. Gili : Introduction, in Lorca, edited by J. Gili, Penguin, Middlesex 1960, pps. xviii‑xix.
L. Monguio : Introduction, in B. Bellet (ed), The Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda, Grove Press Inc, New York 1961, pps. 8‑9.
Ibid p. 20
The Sole Surrealist Poet : Cesar Moro (1903-1956) - J. Wilson, Department of Spanish and Latin American Studies
- The roots of magic realism - Bloomsbury
Always on Sunday : The Digital Magazine of Cuban Arts and Culture - R. Retamar, Alejo - Cuba Now
Fantomas and the Avante Garde
Bloomsbury : The roots of magic realism
On the Marvelous Real in America A. Carpentier, L. Zamora & W. Faris, Magical Realism, Theory, History Community, London, Duke University Press, 1995, p. 85.
…Its because we have new packaging
for smoked oysters
that bomb holes appear in the rice paddies…
R. Bly, The Teeth Mother Naked at Last, cited in K. vanSpanckeren, An Outline of American Literature: American Poetry since 1945 : Experimental poetry
Charles Henry Ford
… I must say your deportment took a hunk- Ford, in Introduction, E.B. Germain, Surrealist Poetry in English, Penguin, Middlesex 1978, p. 44.
out of my peach of a heart,
I aint insured against torpedoes!
My turpentine tears would fill a drugstore…
Neruda in English : Establishing his Residence in US Poetry, J. Cohen 2004
Experimental poetry : An Outline of American Literature: American Poetry since 1945, K. vanSpanckeren
…There, trussed to the doors of the houses I loathe
are the sulphurous birds, in a horror of tripes,
dental plates lost in a coffee pot,
that must surely have wept with the nightmare and shame
of it all;
and everywhere, poisons, umbrellas and belly buttons…
P. Neruda, Walking Around, trans. B. Bellit, Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda, New York, Grove Press, 1961, p. 79.
…There are sulphur-coloured birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords…
P. Neruda, Walking Around, trans. R Bly, in E. B. Germain, Surrealist Poetry in English, Penguin, Middlesex 1978, p. 228.
Neruda in English Establishing his Residence in US Poetry, J. Cohen, 2004
One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know. Then we tried to remove the tusks… But they were embedded so firmly we couldn't budge them. Of course, in Alabama the Tuscaloosa, but that is entirely ir-elephant to what I was talking about.
Animal Crackers, 1930, Dir. Victor Heerman.
Salvador Dali loved the Marx Brothers so much he wrote a screenplay for them. Called Giraffes on Horseback Salad, it was pure surrealism: mirrors with holes in them, musicians with roast chickens on their heads, Groucho ordering Harpo to round up dwarfs, Chico installing indoor rain, etc.
Marxist Rebellion - S. Kurtz, 2000, Reasononline
- Hello, I must be going: Groucho and his Friends C. Chandler, Sphere Books Ltd, London 1980, p.1
Spike Milligan : The Affair of the Lone Banana, The Goonshow, No 104, 5th Series, No 5, transmission 26th October, 1954, p. 2, in The Goon Show Scripts, London, Sphere Books Ltd, 1972.
- Surrealist Poetry in English - E.B. Germain, Penguin, Middlesex 1978, p. 39
- Leunig - The Age 2004 Leunig Calendar, p. 1
Ern Malley : Ern Malley's Poems, Melbourne, Lansdowne Press Pty Ltd, 1961, p. 8.
- The Theatre of Revolt - R. Brustein, Methuen and Co Ltd, London 1965, pps. 363‑366
'Recounting comprehensible things', said pataphysics, 'only serves to make heavy the spirit and to warp the meaning, whereas the absurd exercises the spirit and makes the memory work' pps. 364‑365.
Artaud and dramatist Roger Vitrac swerve surrealism into the professional theatre, provoking expulsion from Breton's clique in 1926: undeterred, they open the Theatre Alfred pataphysics in 1927 with a one-act play by Artaud, and Vitrac's most sustained effort to write a truly Surrealist play, Les Mysteres de l'Amour. Artaud's experience directing Vitrac's surrealist plays, pierced by perceptions gleaned through watching a performance by Balinese dancers in 1931, forms the basis of the series of essays and manifestoes published as Le Theatre et son Double in 1938.
See M. Esslin, The Theatre of the Absurd, The Overlook Press, New York 1973, pps. 331‑334
Critics have seen his influence on almost every experimental dramatist after World War II… there are indisputable Artaudian influences on Camus, Audiberti, Pichette, Vauthier, Ionesco, Beckett, Weingarten and Adamov.'
R. Brustein,The Theatre of Revolt, London, Methuen and Co Ltd, 1965, pps. 376‑377.
- The Theatre of the Absurd - M. Esslin, The Overlook Press, New York 1973, pps. 309‑310
- The Theatre of Protest and Paradox - G. Wellwarth, New York University Press, New York 1972, p. 27
- The Theatre of the Absurd : M. Esslin, The Overlook Press, New York 1973, pps. 5‑6
- The International Dada Archive - T. Shipe, University of Iowa Libraries, USA
- A Trick of the Light: Tom Stoppards Hapgood and Post-Absurdist Theatre : Z. Hersh, in E. Brater & R. Cohn, Around the Absurd, University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbour 1990, p. 181
- Ern Malley Collected Poems - C. Wilson, Ern Malley, Angus and Robinson, NSW 1993, pps. 55‑56
- Wagner Gallery - M. Worrall, Poets Corner, Sydney 2002
Rene Crevel :
The poet does not put the wild animals to sleep in order to play the tamer, but, the cages wide open, the keys thrown to the winds, he journeys forth, a traveller who thinks not of himself but of the voyage, of dream beaches, forests of hands, soul endowed animals, all undeniable surreality.- cited in A. Breton What is Surrealism? Selected Writings, Franklin Rosemond, editor, Chicago 1978, p. 126
- D. Piraro : Surrealist painter Rene Magritte and his brother, surrealist plumber, Rodrigo, 1997 - This is Not a Pipe, Chapter 6.
- The Italian Futurist Book - M. Scudiero
The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism - F.T. Marinetti
And I looked on the net as being the Great Work of the present… the highest expression of the culture of the era… At a certain point it suddenly dawned on me, I had a very crystalline perception, that this was precisely what he [Teilhardt de Chardin] had been talking about. That the point of all evolution to this stage is to create the collective organism of the mind… It’s about creating a consciousness so profound that it will make good company for god himself [sic]. Or itself.
cited in T. Jordan, Cyberpower: The Culture and Politics of Cyberspace and the Internet, New York, Routledge, 1999, p. 195.
Cyberspace : A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation… A graphic representation of data abstracted from the banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding…'
W. Gibson, Neuromancer, quoted in J.P. Barlow, Being in Nothingness Virtual Reality and the Pioneers of Cyberspace, [archive]
I imagine the gathering places of Cyberspace, some as intimate as Pinedale's Wrangler Cafe, some more vast than Tienanmen Square. I imagine us meeting there in conditions of trust and liberty that no government will be able to deny.
I imagine a world, quite soon to come, in which ideas can spread like fire, as Jefferson said, "expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe… incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation by anyone."
If ideas can spread like fire, then freedom, like water, will flow around or over those that stand in its way. In Cyberspace, I hope that truth will be self-evident.
J.P. Barlow, To Be At Liberty: An Essay for Public Television,
Cyberspace 'consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.
We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.
We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.
Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are based on matter, There is no matter here.''
J.P. Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, 1996,
Internet : For an essay by the author on the origins of the Internet/World Wide Web, its maturation and its role in the Twenty-First Century, entitled: Will Bill Gates Meet Fidel Castro in the Next Exciting Episode? see Appendix B : docx | epub | pdf
Italian Futurism [archive]
- Harold Pinter on Beckett
The farther he goes the more good it does me. I don't want philosophies, tracts, dogmas, creeds, ways out, truths, answers, nothing from the bargain basement. He is the most courageous, remorseless writer going and the more he grinds my nose in the shit the more I am grateful to him. He's not f---ing me about, he's not leading me up any garden path, he's not slipping me a wink, he's not flogging me a remedy or a path or a revelation or a basinful of breadcrumbs, he's not selling me anything I don't want to buy, he doesn't give a bollock whether I buy or not, he hasn't got his hand over his heart. Well, I'll buy his goods, hook, line and sinker, because he leaves no stone unturned and no maggot lonely. He brings forth a body of beauty. His work is beautiful.Beckett: the End of Modernism and the Postmodern (60s)
Albert Camus :
What is absurd is the confrontation of this irrational and wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart… The absurd is born of the confrontation between human need and the unreasonable silence of the world.- (quoted in Brockett, Century , 311)
The real function of cruelty as understood by Artaud consisted of annihilating traditional notions, uprooting ingrained convictions, shaking frail sensibilities, unleashing frenzies, and kindling the fires of revolt in order to pave the way, amid the turmoil of shattered ideas and chaotic emotions, for the liberation of the unconscious.(p. 245)
A. Demaitre, The Theatre of Cruelty and Alchemy: Artaud and Le Grande Oeuvre, Journal of the History of Ideas , 33, (2), 1972, pps. 237‑250.
'The cruelty that Artaud referred to…did not refer exclusively to torture, blood, violence, and plague- but to the cruellest of all practices: the exposure of mind, heart, and nerve-ends to the gruelling truths behind a social reality that deals in psychological crises when it wants to be honest and political evils when it wants to be responsible, but rarely if ever confronts the existential horror behind all social and psychological facades' (p. 172).
C. Marowitz, Notes on The Theatre of Cruelty, The Tulane Drama Review , 11, (2), 1966, pps. 152‑172.
'Like the messianic Nietzsche, the messianic Artaud is concerned with the discovery of man, and seeks his metaphysical remains under the rubble of 2,000 years of Christianity' (p. 509).
R. Brustein quoted in M. Zimmerman, Sade et Lautréamont (sans Blanchot): Starting Points for Surrealist Practice and Praxis in the Dialectics of Cruelty and Humour Noir, boundary 2 , 5, (2), 1977, pps. 507‑528.
The Theatre and its Double - A. Artaud, Grove Press Inc, New York 1958 :
Where alchemy, through its symbols, is the spiritual Double of an operation which functions on the level of real matter, the theatre must also be considered as the Double… of another archetypal and dangerous reality… of which the Principals, like dolphins, once they have shown their heads, hurry to dive back into the obscurity of the deep.(p. 48)
In the theatre as in the plague there is a kind of strange sun, a light of abnormal intensity by which it seems that the difficult and even the impossible suddenly become our normal element.(p. 30)
It is consciousness that gives to the exercise of every act of life its blood-red colour, its cruel nuance, since it is understood that life is always someone's death.(p. 102)
From the point of view of the mind, cruelty signifies rigour, implacable intention and decision, irreversible and absolute determination.(p. 101)
Without an element of cruelty at the root of every spectacle, the theatre is not possible. In our present state of degeneration it is through the skin that metaphysics must be made to enter our minds.(p. 99)
Surrealism And Today's French Theatre - R. Cohn, Yale French Studies 31, 1964, pps. 159‑165
Like the Surrealists, the absurdist playwrights (and directors and actors) turn inwards, but unlike them, they do so to explore a No Man's Land in which Everyman stumbles. They have set this land so vividly on stage that audiences the world over recognise it as home.(p. 165)