Surrealism, Occultism and Politics: In Search of the Marvellous, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Surrealism, Occultism and Politics

In Search of the Marvellous, 1st Edition

Edited by Tessel M. Bauduin, Victoria Ferentinou, Daniel Zamani


290 pages | 16 Color Illus. | 21 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780367470494
pub: 2020-02-28
SAVE ~$9.99
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 28th February 2020
Hardback: 9781138054332
pub: 2017-10-11
SAVE ~$31.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315146652
pub: 2017-10-16
from $27.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


This volume examines the relationship between occultism and Surrealism, specifically exploring the reception and appropriation of occult thought, motifs, tropes and techniques by Surrealist artists and writers in Europe and the Americas, from the 1920s through the 1960s. Its central focus is the specific use of occultism as a site of political and social resistance, ideological contestation, subversion and revolution. Additional focus is placed on the ways occultism was implicated in Surrealist discourses on identity, gender, sexuality, utopianism and radicalism.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

List of Contributors

List of Plates

List of Illustrations

Introduction: In Search of the Marvellous

Tessel M. Bauduin, Victoria Ferentinou and Daniel Zamani

Part I: Alternative Modes of Knowledge

1 Spiritual Surrealists: Séances, Automatism, and the Creative Unconscious

Claudie Massicotte

2 The Vertiginous Pursuit of the Grand Jeu: Experimental Metaphysics, Paramnesia, and Creative Involution

Donna Roberts

3 Palmistry as Portraiture: Dr. Charlotte Wolff and the Surrealists

M. E. Warlick

4 Occulted Un-Knowing: Bataillean Approaches to the Sacred in Gellu Naum’s Ceasornicãria Taus and Alejo Carpentier’s El Siglo de las Luces

Vivienne Brough-Evans

Part II: Myth, Magic and the Search for Re-Enchantment

5 Melusina Triumphant: Matriarchy and the Politics of Anti-Fascist Mythmaking in André Breton’s Arcane 17

Daniel Zamani

6 Esotericism and Surrealist Cinema: Wilhelm Freddie’s Films and the New Myth

Kristoffer Noheden

7 Disenchanted Ground, or Antonin Artaud, Vincent van Gogh and Magic in 1947

Gavin Parkinson

8 Kurt Seligmann, Surrealism and the Occult

Gražina Subelytė

Part III: Female Artists, Gender and the Occult

9 The Quest for the Goddess: Matriarchy, Surrealism and Gender Politics in the Work of Ithell Colquhoun and Leonora Carrington

Victoria Ferentinou

10 On the True Exercise of Witchcraft in the Work of Remedios Varo

María José González Madrid

11 Clear Dreaming: Maya Deren, Surrealism and Magic

Judith Noble

12 Harbingers of the New Age: Surrealism, Women and the Occult in the United States

Susan Aberth


About the Editors

Tessel M. Bauduin is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the University of Amsterdam.

Victoria Ferentinou is assistant professor at the University of Ioannina.

Daniel Zamani is a PhD student at Trinity College, University of Cambridge and an assistant curator at the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main.

About the Series

Studies in Surrealism

Studies in Surrealism
With scholarly interest in Surrealism greater than ever, the Studies in Surrealism series serves as a forum for key areas of Surrealist inquiry today. This series extends the ongoing academic and popular interest in Surrealism, evident in recent studies that have rethought established areas of Surrealist activity and engagement, including those of politics, the object, photography, crime, and modern physics. Expanding and adding various lines of inquiry, books in the series examine Surrealism's intersections with philosophical, social, artistic, and literary themes. Potential subjects to be examined in the context of Surrealism include but are not limited to: nature; queer studies; humor and play; science; theory in the 1950s and 1960s; the New Novel; Surrealist activities beyond Paris. Proposals are welcomed for both monographs and essay collections dealing with the above subjects or with discussions of Surrealism in other aspects and genres. Monographic writings on artists and writers who have been generally overlooked by English-language scholarship (for instance, Victor Brauner, Toyen, Jorge Camacho) would also fall within the scope of this series.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / General
ART / History / General
ART / European
ART / History / Modern (late 19th Century to 1945)
ART / Art & Politics
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Occultism
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Witchcraft & Wicca
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Sacred Sexuality
RELIGION / General
RELIGION / Wicca (see also BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Witchcraft)