1st Edition

Surrealism, Occultism and Politics In Search of the Marvellous

    290 Pages 16 Color & 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    304 Pages 16 Color & 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    304 Pages 16 Color & 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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

    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



    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.

    "The book presents a fine collection of original scholarship.Recommended to those interested in the intersection of art and alternative religiosity." - Grzegorz Frąszczak, Religious Studies Review